Pray for Senyor Santo Niño’s blessings
Proponents of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) led by Arlett Capistrano and Herbert Laboy joined the 2017 Fiesta Senyor festivities to pray for Senyor Santo Niño’s blessings.
The Senyor Santo Niño is the miraculous image of the Holy Child Jesus housed at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño in Cebu City. It is said to be the image that the conquistador Ferdinand Magellan brought to the Philippines and gave then Rajah Juana as a gift during her baptism in 1521. The event is hailed as the beginning of Christianity in Southeast Asia.
The CCLEX is the much-awaited third bridge that would link mainland Cebu with Mactan Island. This should help
ease traffic congestion in Metro Cebu. Capistrano is the VP for Marketing of the Metro Pacific Tollways and Development Corp. while Laboy is the project manager.
Along with Cordova Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho, other Cordova officials, and Marilyn Santos of Pinnacle, they joined Fiesta Senyor Saturday dawn Fluvial Procession on a CCLEX boat on January 14, 2017.
The group later in the day joined the religious activities at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. On the Grand Sinulog Sunday January 15, 2017, the CCLEX group found themselves at the Cebu City Sports Center grandstand where they enjoyed the Sinulog Parade performances along with other Sinulog sponsors and guests of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.
They joined devotees of Senyor Santo Niño yell “Pit Senyor” and sway to the prayer-dance “Sinulog.” While Cebuanos greet each “Pit Senyor” during Fiesta Senyor. Cebuanos say “Pit Senyor” means hail or call the Holy Child.
LGU partners optimistic
Meanwhile, the local governments of Cebu City and Municipality of Cordova expressed high optimism on the prospects of Cebu’s 3rd bridge.
“I am happy that CCLEX is joining this year’s festivity. Sinulog is simply Cebuano. It is an expression of our undying faith to Sto. Nino and Cebuano pride. With millions of devotees and tourists coming to Cebu just to attend Sinulog, it is an event that connects Cebu City to the rest of the world,” said Councilor Nendell Hanz Abella, Chairman of Sinulog Executive Committee.
“CCLEX could bridge Cebu City to the world better as it will address the escalating traffic predicament that is presently experienced in both the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge and the Marcelo Fernan Bridge. Movement of goods and services will hasten and thus impact positively on the cost of transfer and movement of such goods and services, helping Cebu City become more attractive to investors,” Abella added.
8 km span
Spanning eight kilometers, CCLEX will connect Cebu City to the Municipality of Cordova and will serve as an alternate route in going to and from the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
The bridge links up with the Cebu South Coastal Road causeway with an 825-meter main span towards Shell Island. A viaduct and causeway then links the Shell Island to an upgraded road until it reaches to the Mactan circumferential freeway.
“With Sto. Nino’s blessing, we have high hopes for the immediate construction of CCLEX. We are excited as the new bridge will surely stir-up Cordova’s local economy, and lead to its becoming one of the highly-urbanized cities of Metro Cebu and eventually become a competitive eco-tourism gateway in the Visayas,” Cordova Mayor Sitoy-Cho said.
Jobs and revenues
“The bridge construction can also provide employment opportunities to the people of Cordova. It also means
additional source of revenue due to the taxes and permits to be incurred by the project,” added Mayor Sitoy-Cho.
“The economic spin-offs that will be brought about by the project – job generation, trade and commerce, real estate development and tourism related activities, will bring in greater benefits to the Municipality of Cordova, to Cebu City, and Cebu province,” ended Mayor Sitoy-Cho.
Being a toll bridge facility to be built under a private-public partnership (PPP) scheme, the project will enable the LGUs of Cebu City and Cordova to provide its constituents badly needed infrastructure with private sector funding.
Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation (MPTDC), through its subsidiary, the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC) will design, build and operate the bridge. MPTDC is one of the Philippines’ investment holding companies with proven track record in designing, constructing, financing, and operating toll facilities and expressways. It currently operates some of the countries’ major expressways such as the North Luzon Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and Manila Cavite Toll Expressway, paving the way for faster and more efficient movement of transportation, goods and services in central areas of the Philippines.