Open Letter to the Honorable Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama

CENTER ISLAND AT POPE JOHN PAUL II AVE. FOR DEMOLITION/JULY 7, 2015: Cebu City mayor Michael Rama will meet DENR Secretary Paje to issue a permit for the removal of or cut the trees and demolish the center island at Pope John Paul II Ave. in time for the APEC Summit.(CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

CENTER ISLAND AT POPE JOHN PAUL II AVE. FOR DEMOLITION/JULY 7, 2015: Cebu City mayor Michael Rama will meet DENR Secretary Paje to issue a permit for the removal of or cut the trees and demolish the center island at Pope John Paul II Ave. in time for the APEC Summit.(CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Dear Mayor Rama,

Not long ago, Cebuanos were overjoyed when a road beside the Mabolo Parish was renamed into the Pope John Paul II Avenue. Fronting the Seminario de San Carlos and Carmelite Monastery, it truly deserves being labelled after a well-loved Saint who once visited our city which is also known as Asia’s Cradle of Christianity.

The renaming becomes even more significant because this road will host the convention center that serves as the main venue of the 2016 International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) which will hopefully be graced by Pope Francis, the successor of John Paul II.

The avenue itself speaks of humble dignity. Although not very wide, it is quite far from being heavily populated or polluted compared to others in the city. A vital link to various points of interest, this avenue’s charm comes mainly from a center island that hosts graceful fire trees.

Since these trees are among a few that remain in our streets (similar ones mysteriously disappeared when the Serging Osmena Boulevard was widened), I was therefore dismayed when you sought permission from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to cut them so that the road could be widened for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Summit (APEC).

Mr. Mayor, please do not cut these trees. Doing so would not only be sacrilegious to Saint John Paul II; it would be bad for a city that’s trying to show itself as liveable and earth-friendly. Besides, no amount of tree-cutting will ever compensate for good traffic planning and enforcement. Otherwise, we might as well cut all the trees in our city and trust that our traffic situation will improve right away.

I do believe that our APEC visitors will appreciate tree-lined streets better than wide highways devoid of trees. In their respective countries, these visitors surely have environment-friendly roads that feature trees. I even doubt that they will be happy knowing that their visit here will cause the cutting of our trees. I’m sure there are other ways to improve traffic management for APEC, the IEC and other events that Asia’s Cradle of Christianity will be hosting.

I leave this matter to those who are officially mandated to do it, but let’s not include tree-cutting as the shortcut solution to this concern, as if it would suffice in solving congestion now and in the distant future.

To better emphasize my point, may I thus remind you of a timely and relevant quote from Saint John Paul II: “The earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.”

Mr. Mayor, I trust that you will heed the words of the beloved Saint who once passed through this historic avenue that now bears his name.

Very truly yours,

Ka Bino Guerrero



Categories: Environment, Tourism, transport | Tags: , , , , , | 38 Comments

Easy Taxi offers ‘Zero Booking Fee’ promo this August


Easy Taxi, the world’s largest taxi booking app, is offering a “Zero Booking Fee” promo for taxi passengers in Cebu and Manila starting August 4 until September 4.


Easy Taxi allows users to book a cab using their mobile phones. The app also allows users to live track their cab’s whereabouts from the convenience of their home or office.


With the “Zero Booking Fee” promo, this service can be availed by taxi passengers and only pay the metered bill. The promo is available for subscribers from all mobile networks.


This is a sequel to Easy Taxi’s ‘Rainy Day’ promo which offered a P40 booking fee – P30 off its original fixed fee of P70 – last June and July.


Easy, convenient, reliable taxi experience


“Requesting for a taxi has never been so easy, convenient, and reliable. With Easy Taxi, booking your cab is just one touch away,” said Daniel Torres, Easy Taxi CEO for the Philippines.


“Keeping in line with our commitment to provide quality service to the Pinoy on-the-go, we are waiving our booking fee for an entire month, to serve more Filipinos better,” he said.


The Easy Taxi app can be downloaded for free on your mobile phones and gadgets simply by visiting the Apple App or Google Play stores.


“Our value propositions of safety, convenience, and quality service for every customer helped Easy Taxi retain its position as the market leader in e-booking app services,” said Torres.


Before boarding a taxi, the passenger is provided by the app with the designated driver’s information like the name, license plate, and contact details.


“The information the app makes available to users can be shared to friends and loved ones, thus giving them the guarantee of a safer riding experience,” said Torres.


In case of valuables accidentally left in the cab, passengers can ask Easy Taxi operators to contact the driver in their behalf and therefore increasing the likelihood of retrieving the said items.



Added value for taxi cab drivers


“Easy Taxi don’t only give passengers a royal treatment, we also provided added value for taxi cab drivers who get extra income from patronizing the app,” said Torres.


Taxi drivers driving passengers who used the app will receive a P60 booking fee during the weekday rush-hours for 2 weeks between August 4 and August 16.


Partnered with Easy Taxi are some of the country’s most trusted fleets, thus assuring passengers of drivers that are trained and educated to offer the best customer service possible.


Outside of the Philippines, Easy Taxi is available in 4 continents, 34 countries, and 162 cities and boasts of as much as 185,000 registered drivers.


It is part of the Asia Pacific Internet Group (APIG), which was founded by Rocket Internet in 2014 to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Asia Pacific region.


APIG’s network currently consists of 10 companies operating in 15 countries. Easy Taxi recently raised $40 million in its fourth round of funding, in order to make its service more widely available.


Easy Taxi continues to help pave the way for improved public service transportation experience for commuters in the bustling streets of Cebu and Metro Manila.

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