Connect with us

NEWS

MPIC Bridges the Gap for Cebu-Cordova’s Economic Growth

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) maintains its crucial role as a reliable partner in nation-building, reaching a major construction milestone for its P30B Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) this month.

CCLEX, MPIC’s first toll road project outside Luzon, has finally closed the two-meter gap that separated the main bridge decks of Towers 1 and 2. Despite unprecedented challenges brought upon by the pandemic, the major construction feat now successfully connects the modest town of Cordova in Mactan Island to Cebu City, providing an alternative route to decongest the traffic-choked channels that preceded it.

Implemented through Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC), a wholly owned subsidiary of its toll road arm, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, CCLEX becomes an integral component in MPIC’s goal towards progress for the whole country. Beyond the reduction of traffic and the improvement of accessible travel, the project is expected to positively impact trade activities and create larger economic opportunities for Cebu and the rest of the Visayas region.

An Iconic Bridge

In partnership with the local government units of Cebu City and the Municipality of Cordova, the complex project spanned more than three years of non-stop construction, now cited as an “engineering marvel” and expected to become a tourist attraction within itself.

“It is with pride that we commemorate this milestone for CCLEX, given the current circumstances that could have easily hindered our progress,” said MPIC President and CEO Jose Ma. K. Lim. “Through the resolve of all sectors involved, primarily MPTC and CCLEC, we are gradually reigniting the economy of one of the most dynamic metropolitan areas in the country. It is a strategic step towards spurring industrial growth all throughout the Visayas region.”

CCLEX measures 8.5 kilometers long and rises 51 meters from sea level, poising it to become the country’s largest water-crossing infrastructure. The bridge is built with a navigational clearance to allow large vessels to safely traverse a path underneath the bridge.

The bridge expressway will have two lanes in each direction and will feature the main twin cable-stayed bridge, viaduct approach bridges, a causeway, and toll facilities. Spanning eight kilometers from the mouth of the Guadalupe River to Shell Island and then Cordova, the project will connect mainland Cebu to the Municipality of Cordova and is expected to serve at least 50,000 vehicles daily.

The 8.9-kilometer CCLEX will be open to the public for commercial operations in the first quarter of 2022. The bridge will be using a full electronic toll collection system and is fitted with several state-of-the art equipment, including a Road Weather Information System that provides weather watches and warning for public safety.

A Good Pull for Investments

MPIC’s investment in the region has continuously been cited as an integral factor in the municipality’s rapid economic development. Akin to what the conglomerate has done for Metro Manila, the bridge project is effectively set to help in the daily lives of Cebuanos.

Preceding its completion, CCLEX is already generating positive economic growth for the municipality of Cordova, exhibited by the significant rise in land prices within the proximity of the project site. Prices have reached P5,000 per square meter in January 2020, a drastic leap from the P500 per square meter at most before the start of construction in 2018.

This dramatic boom in real estate value within a short time span, directly increased the Cordova’s demand in the market. A good pull for investments, this attracted the attention of several of the country’s biggest conglomerates including Ayala Corporation, SM Prime Holdings Inc., and the Gokongwei Group. The economic growth, partially brought about by the opening of CCLEX, has incited the need for business owners in Cordova to create their own chamber of commerce organization.

In 2019, business stakeholders were initiating moves to groom Cordova as the ‘Sentosa’ of Cebu. Similar to the island resort off Singapore’s southern coast, Cordova was set to become the “crown jewel” of tourism and business in Metro Cebu.

“The influx of infrastructure brought about by the completion of CCLEX is already generating socio-economic impacts that truly benefits all our constituents,” said Cordova Mayor Mary Therese “Teche” Sitoy-Cho. “We are grateful for the work that MPIC and their tollways arm has dedicated into helping us achieve our goal of becoming a more advanced and smart municipality. Aside from improving the convenience of travel, this project has been integral in creating more employment opportunities and uplifting our local tourism as another means of livelihood for our community.”

Linking Progress and Purpose

Beyond the infrastructural advancement that the bridge’s construction entails, CCLEX has become an avenue for the socio-economic development of its fenceline communities, all while integrating an environmentally conscious approach to its blueprint.

CCLEX was built as a “fishermen’s bridge” with additional clearance and channels designed into the structure to give local fishermen and their boats access to their traditional fishing grounds. When over 380 fisherfolks from Barangays Bangbang and San Miguel in Cordova town were required to temporarily cease their operations to allow for the filling activities for the causeway segment, CCLEC ensured the appropriate compensation, providing financial assistance and rice for them and their families.

The bridge was carefully designed and built to protect the existing 278-hectare mangrove ecosystem. With Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF), MPIC, and the Cordova LGU, CCLEC inaugurated its Mangrove Propagation and Information Center in Barangay Day-as, as part of MPIF’s flagship environmental program, Shore It Up!

As its legacy project for the entire country, the two-storey facility shall serve as the center for the protection and propagation of mangrove trees in the coastal areas, including the rehabilitation of degraded mangroves in the whole Municipality of Cordova. It will also be an information hub to let locals and visitors appreciate the importance and benefits of mangroves in the ecosystem. The Mangrove Center directly employed four Cordova locals to serve as mangrove eco-guides in the Centers.

“MPIC is driven forward with the mindset that we cannot operate our businesses with just profit in mind. More importantly, we must be driven by purpose – by always doing good while doing well,” said MPIC Chief Finance Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer Chaye Cabal-Revilla. “Becoming a partner in nation-building not only entails infrastructural progress but becoming a catalyst in uplifting the lives of all Filipinos.”

The completion of CCLEX is aligned with MPIC’s commitment to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), primarily SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, 9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, and 17 Partnerships for the Goals.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

NEWS

URCC 81: Decades of Success happens Dec. 6 in Okada

November 27, 2022 7:22 p.m.

THE Universal Reality Combat Championship will celebrate two decades of greatness titled the “Decades of Success” in a fight night on December 6, featuring the country’s best mixed martial artists at the Okada Manila in Parañaque City. 

Three years since the last time they held their last main event, URCC founding president Alvin Aguilar announced the coming URCC 81 will definitely be a night to remember with events like the 3 Versus 3, MMA fight and the bare-knuckle bouts.

“Our first main event in three years will definitely be an unforgettable night in mixed martial arts. We have a lot of good fighters and everyone is very excited,” Aguilar said. 

The last time URCC held a main event — Retribution— was in November 2019, at the same venue. Despite the pandemic, URCC didn’t stop as it held three fight nights when the government finally allowed contact sports. 

In celebrating URCC’s main event return, Aguilar will be having Team Philippines of Sugar Ray “Mammoth” Estroso, Caloy “Bad Boy” Baduria and Boss Bullet Manliclic taking up against South Koreans Jeong Minhun, Choi Wontae and Jeon Youngjun in an exciting 3 versus 3 event.

“We have to go up against other Asian countries before we start expanding. So we meet Korea then later on China again and then we will invite people from Russia and the USA. This is the fourth time we will be holding this 3 versus 3 fight,” Aguilar said, who also expects the other events to live up to the hype.

A URCC welterweight interim championship is also set between Filipino Arvin Chan and American Will Chope as the other highlight of the main event presented by Okada Manila and sponsored by Winzir.

URCC Global Chairman Arnold Vegafria said the promotions have been evolving since 2002, becoming a household name in the local mixed martial arts industry, where it discovered great MMA fighters and promoted quality fights abroad. 

For inquiries about tickets sale, go to www.urcc.online and download app https://apps.wix.com/place-invites/join-lp/b4e05b90-55a0-40a8-8fac-17ccf4a2c074?ref=pre_banner_top which is available for iOS and Google.

Other MMA undercard bouts feature Dunlee Stewart facing John Tirona in a 170 lbs bout, followed by Gester Maglaque meeting Mariano Jones in an 185 lbs bout; Kimbert Alintozon battling Junie Kimayong (125 lbs); Rhyle Lugo clashing against Alex Aballe (145 lbs) and Eros Baluyot taking on MJ Abrillo (125 lbs). 

For the thrilling bare-knuckle competitions, Damsa Abrenica collides with Joseph “King Pinoy” Cabral, while Dondon Serrano squares off with Sherwin Niro and Denzel Dimaguila fights Mark Jalaron.  

Details of the fight and future fight cards are available to download at https://apps.wix.com/place-invites/join-lp/b4e05b90-55a0-40a8-8fac-17ccf4a2c074?ref=pre_banner_top, which is available for iOS and Google.

Continue Reading

NEWS

BingoPlus Foundation’s FutureSmart Scholarship Program 2022 funds 10 IT scholars

Nov. 21, 2022 12:51 p.m.

BingoPlus Foundation Inc., the corporate arm of leisure entertainment brand BingoPlus, has made education one of its causes to support with a PhP6 million scholarship granted to iACADEMY under its FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program. 

Officers of the Foundation signed an agreement with representatives of iACADEMY to sponsor ten students last November 2 at the head office of Leisure & Resorts World Corporation (LRWC) at Tektite Building in Pasig. 

With its specialization in the field of information technology, iACADEMY was seen as the perfect partner school for BP Foundation as it aligns well with the Foundation’s vision to create IT-competent professionals in the future. BingoPlus Foundation firmly believes that education and technology are important components of nation-building and has thus prioritized the FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program as one of its top Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives of the year. 

Through the scholarship, the Foundation aims to address some challenges faced by the education sector to provide more and better educational opportunities to the younger generation and thus leave its footprint in the building of a better society. 

LRWC President Andy Tsui said, “We wish to inspire the younger generation and make their dreams come true.” 

“We are truly honored to welcome iACADEMY as a new partner, and we’re grateful to be given the opportunity to contribute to keeping students on the path towards a brighter future,” said Jasper Vicencio, President of BingoPlus and Trustee of BingoPlus Foundation Inc.

The FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program will be launched in the current school year of iACADEMY. 

Continue Reading

NEWS

Game on! SM Christmas Village is back—and bigger than ever

November 17, 2022 3:50 p.m.

We’re calling it: Christmas 2022 is going to be one for the books. 

The past two years saw Filipinos dialing down on the holiday celebrations as we exercised caution against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It’s no easy feat, too, given that our Pasko is easily the biggest event of the year. The good—no, aweSM—news? This 2022, SM is set to give you a Christmas comeback like no other with the return of the SM Christmas Village, now on its second year!

In case you didn’t know: SM Supermalls is the very first mall in the Philippines to venture into the metaverse, giving you the first mobile brand rewards app that provides customers with fun and exciting ways to score amazing deals, earn free shopping money, and win wow-worthy prizes—anytime, anywhere!

And here’s proof of just how amazing it is: The pilot run of the ChristmaSaya Village in 2021 recently won four accolades at this year’s Vega Awards, earning nods for outstanding innovation in the digital and virtual realm. Wowza!

Enter the Mall-tiverse
Here’s how it works: To join, a user simply has to register for an account online via smmetaverse.world. Once registered, you gain access to the virtual SM Christmas Village, where you can explore different zones, interact with other players, and collect virtual coins to unlock exclusive shopping vouchers and earn raffle entries. And just like at SM Supermalls nationwide, #YoureAlwaysWelcomeHere

Excited for supercharged virtual fun? Here’s a quick look at what’s in store for you this year:

  • Bigger rewards, bigger prizes 

If you loved last year’s vouchers, you’re in for even better rewards this time. SM has partnered with more of your favorite brands to give you exclusive shopping discounts and deals (a total of ₱2M worth of vouchers are up for grabs!) and is set to give away a whopping ₱1M worth of raffle prizes. Plus, one lucky winner will drive home the ultimate Christmas gift: a brand new Suzuki S-Presso!

  • An expansive game world awaits
    Your gaming experience gets a level up with improved game designs and an exciting game world featuring new areas to explore—from shopping and dining zones to entertainment zones—like you’re really at an SM Supermall! Experience augmented reality malling, e-meet friends, and play fun games to earn virtual coins. Before that, have fun customizing your own avatar down to the hair, outfit, and accessories (shopping bag, included), so you can create a character that’s uniquely you. 
  • Enjoy fresh in-game features
    Get your family members in on the Christmas fever with the multiplayer option and stay connected while you play with the new chat and video-calling features. (Looking at you, social butterflies!) Be on the lookout for pop-ups, too, featuring special brand deets and surprise deals with every visit.
  • Earn shopping money every day

The more virtual coins you collect in-app, the more “shopping money” you get, which you can use to redeem vouchers from your favorite brands. Once you’ve claimed your vouchers virtually, you can use them at participating SM Mall branches nationwide—to pay for your Christmas shopping, dining, and more! You can also use your coins to unlock raffle entries and win one of the 20 major prizes at the end of the year. 

Some tips! 

  • Visit the village every day to earn more coins faster.
  • Excited to shop? You can spend your coins as soon as you earn them, but it pays to be patient, too. By accumulating your coins first, you’ll be able to redeem bigger rewards later on!
  • Make sure to explore all the zones and keep an eye out for hidden treasures and bonuses. 

A Christmas to remember

With restrictions easing up and COVID-19 vaccination rates at an encouraging high, this year’s holiday season surely is shaping up to be one to look forward to. If you’re jonesing for some real-life Christmas fun, though, you won’t be disappointed when you take a break from the metaverse and make your way to your favorite SM Supermalls instead! From the light shows and holiday centerpieces to all sorts of Christmas attractions, all things merry and bright await you and the whole family—and it all starts now! Check out all the holiday happenings here and have a #HappyChristmasAtSM!

The #SMChristmasVillage2022 will run from October 28, 2022 to January 5, 2023. Voucher redemption will be until January 31, 2023.

To stay updated on all things SM, follow SM Supermalls on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. SM implements strict #SafeMallingAtSM protocols nationwide and offers convenient shopping options via the SM Malls Online app, The SM Store, and ShopSM. (You can read more here.) For updates on mall hours and entry guidelines, click here

Hop into our mall-tiverse and score ₱3M worth of vouchers and prizes!
Continue Reading