Fuente Beautification Project 1st Sidewalk Now Open
From cebu daily news
Maroon bricks on a wide sidewalk near Fuente Osmeña rotunda give a glimpse of the planned Spanish-era styled beautification of Cebu City’s streets and landmarks.
A space in front of the unfinished building of Banco De Oro (BDO) was unveiled yesterday as an early example.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia together with philanthropist Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung opened the sidewalk in simple rites at 4 p.m
In a speech, Rama lauded BDO for being the first establishment in the Fuente Osmeña area to beautify its sidewalk.
He said Cebu City residents can expect more presentable sidewalks in the next few months.
“If all of us will help, beautiful things will happen,” Rama said.
Gov. Garcia lauded Rama for pushing the city government’s partnership with the province in upgrading Cebu City’s landmarks.
She said the provincial government will improve the entire road stretch from Fuente Osmeña to the Capitol before the province’s 444nd anniversary in August.
Yeung, who heads Cebu City’s Beautification Movement, said they already raised P10 million of the target P50 million budget for the project which covers Sanciangko Street to the whole length of Osmeña Boulevard to the Capitol.
Spanish-era themed structures like lampposts worth P2 million will be installed, she said.
Yeung said they hope to finish the beautification project before Christmas.
Fuente Beautification Project History
The beautification plan is to restore the sidewalks within Osmeña Boulevard, which vendors have practically taken over reducing greatly the space for pedestrians. The mayor promised a relocation site within the area for the vendors so as not to disrupt their livelihood.
Rama said sacrifices have to be made but that street vendors would be taken cared of as their support and cooperation is needed in promoting the city’s culture and history through the beautification project.
The chairman of the Cebu Beautification Movement, Inc., Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung, has aimed for a zero-vendor count around the Fuente Osmeña circle and along the boulevard.
Several establishments in the area have expressed their support for the project and committed to spruce up their building for an appearance depicting the Spanish colonial era. Two financial establishments along Osmeña Boulevard, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Banco de Oro, have promised to beautify their own front yards, this is reported
The project has gotten the nod of local business groups as the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce have pledged financial support to jump start the beautification efforts.
Any financial donation made to the project will be posted at the city government’s website for transparency, this is said.
Even Gov. Garcia has recognized the value of the project saying it is part of the province’s thrust to promote and showcase Cebu’s rich cultural history assuring that Capitol will provide assistance to realize the project.
Fuente Osmeña is often described as the ‘Heart of Cebu’ with its strategic location at the center of Cebu City. It was built in honor of Cebu’s Grand Old Man, the late President Sergio Osmeña. Its literal meaning ‘Fountain of Osmeña,’ refers to the fountain built in commemoration of the foundation of the city’s first waterworks system in 1923.
As a Cebu City landmark, its historical significance cannot be discounted as the fountain inside the Fuente Osmeña Circle is seen at the right side of the P50-peso bill with the face of the late President Osmeña at the center of the same bill.
To this date, the Fuente Osmeña Rotunda remains a venue for a cause as cultural shows, nightly festivities during the Sinulog Mardi Gras, promotional events and even protest rallies are held inside the circle.