Metro Cebu

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For the article on the Province of Cebu, see Cebu. For its capital independent chartered city, see Cebu City. For other uses, see Cebu (disambiguation).
Metropolitan Cebu
Kaulohang Sugbo
Kalakhang Cebu
Aerial view of Metro Cebu
Aerial view of Metro Cebu
Nickname(s): Metro Cebu
Political map of Metro Cebu
Political map of Metro Cebu
Coordinates: 10°17′N 123°54′E / 10.283°N 123.900°E / 10.283; 123.900Coordinates: 10°17′N 123°54′E / 10.283°N 123.900°E / 10.283; 123.900
Country Philippines
Region Central Visayas
(Region VII)
Province Cebu
 • Total 1,163.36 km2 (449.18 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,551,100
 • Density 2,200/km2 (5,700/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)

Metropolitan Cebu, or simply Metro Cebu, (Cebuano: Kaulohang Sugbo, Filipino: Kalakhang Cebu), is the main urban center of the province of Cebu in the Philippines. Metro Cebu is located along the central eastern portion of the island including the nearby island of Mactan. It accounts for 20 percent of the land area and 60 percent of the population (2007 census) of the entire province of Cebu.

Metro Cebu is a metropolitan area that is located in Cebu City, the capital of Cebu and the regional center of Central Visayas with twelve surrounding cities and municipalities.

The Metropolitan Cebu Development Council (MCDC) is a body mandated to formulate development plans for the Metro Cebu area and coordinate their implementation. Unlike the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the MCDC does not have legal and institutional powers.

Cities and municipalities[edit]

Map of Metro Cebu within the Philippines

Metro Cebu is almost twice the size of Metro Manila it comprises seven cities and six municipalities.

Local government unit Population¹ Area (km²) Pop. density

(per km²)

Carcar 107,323 116.78 919.02
Cebu City 866,171 315.0 2,749.7
Compostela 42,574 53.90 789.87
Consolacion 106,649 147.20 724.518
Cordova 50,353 17.15 2,936.0
Danao 119,252 107.30 1,111.39
Lapu-Lapu 350,467 58.10 6,032.1
Liloan 100,500 45.92 2,188.6
Mandaue 331,320 25.18 13,158.1
Minglanilla 113,178 65.60 1,725.27
Naga 101,571 101.97 996.09
San Fernando 60,970 69.39 878.66
Talisay 200,772 39.87 5,035.7
Total 2,551,100 1163.36 2,192.87

¹2010 Census
Note: In October 2005, development planners from Regional Development Council 7 of the Metropolitan Cebu Development Council headed by the Cebu Provincial Governor and Local Government Units of Cebu expanded the definition of Metro Cebu to include the cities of Carcar and Danao, and the municipality of San Fernando.[1][2]

The provincial capitol, the central business district, major educational institutions and the international port are all located in Cebu City while major industrial companies and factories are located in Mandaue. The international airport and the export processing zone are located in Lapu-Lapu in Mactan Island. Danao is primarily a mining city while Talisay is a residential city with its income generated by small and medium-sized businesses.

Panoramic view of Metro Cebu


Map of Metro Cebu
Skyline of Cebu City

Cebu City was a fishing village and farming settlement governed by Visayan native kings who traded with the neighboring islands of Malaysia and Indonesia. Cebu was the location of the Rajahnate of Cebu, an Indianized kingdom founded by the half Indian and half Malay, Sri Lumay, from Sumatra.

On April 7, 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Cebu. Magellan failed to successfully claim the Philippines for the crown of Spain as he was slain on Mactan Island on April 27, 1521, by its leader, Datu Lapu-lapu.

On April 27, 1565, Spanish explorers led by Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in Cebu from Mexico. The Spaniards renamed the city on January 1, 1571, from San Miguel (Saint Michael) to Villa del Santissimo Nombre de Jesús (Town of the Most Holy Name of Jesus). The island were a former capital city of the Spanish East Indies before the capital city was moved to Manila in 1571.

Mandaue City then was known as Mandani ruled by her lord Aponoan. She was formally constituted into a "pueblo" (people) between 1580 to 1700 and was officially known as the Población de Mandaue (Town of Mandaue) in 1899. It emerged into the industrial city of Mandaue. Mandaue became a chartered city on June 21, 1969 through Republic Act 5519. It was considered a highly urbanized city in the year 1991.

The City of Talisay was a former Augustinian order hacienda (estate) in 1648 and became a municipality in 1849. On December 30, 2000, Talisay became a component city by virtue of Republic Act 8979.

Lapu-Lapu City was originally referred to as "Mactan." It later became the town of Opon in 1730, the 7th town founded by the Augustinian Friars in Cebu. The town of Opon became a city on June 17, 1961. It largest district, Lapu-Lapu, was named after Datu Lapu-Lapu.

Metropolitan Cebu was conceptualized by government planners in the 1970s and was based on the experiences of urban planning in Metro Manila. Metro Cebu represented the province's thriving urban centers that are physically proximate to Cebu City, which is the leading commercial and financial hub in the Visayas and northern Mindanao areas with a population largely dependent on the economic opportunities prevailing in the area.



The people of Cebu are called Cebuanos. Some individuals have European, Chinese and other foreign ancestries as well as ancestries from other Filipino ethnic groups.


Cebuano is the most common language spoken in Metro Cebu, followed by Tagalog. English is commonly used in educational institutions and business transactions. Other languages spoken include Chinese, Spanish, and a range of Visayan languages.


Metro Cebu is the seat of well-known and highly regarded educational institutions in the country.

These includes:

Other noteworthy universities and colleges include:

A large number of students from the neighboring provinces such as Bohol and Misamis Oriental to name a few, prefer to go to Metro Cebu to take up tertiary-level education.

There is also a sizable number of South Korean and Iranian students who take up tertiary-level courses in Metro Cebu. Most of these Koreans came here to learn the basics of conversational English while the majority these Iranians study Medicine and other medical-related courses.

Cebu has four internationally connected educational institutions. Cebu International School and CIE British School are located in Cebu City; Singapore School Cebu and Woodridge International School are located in Mandaue.


Metro Cebu also has several hospitals and clinics, there are two types of hospitals in Metro Cebu, the Public hospitals which is owned by the government and it is cheaper, Some public hospitals in Metro Cebu are the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu City Medical Center and there are also few public district hospitals which are also managed by the provincial government of Cebu.

And also the Private hospitals, hospitals that have high standards but a bit expensive, some of the well-known private hospitals in Metro Cebu are the Chong Hua Hospital, Cebu Doctors' University Hospital, Perpetual Succor Hospital and Cebu Institute of Medicine Hospital.


2004 presidential inauguration[edit]

Arroyo taking her Oath of Office in Cebu City on June 30, 2004

On June 30, 2004, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was the first Philippine President to be inaugurated in Metro Cebu. The inauguration was done in front of Cebu Provincial Capitol in Cebu City. This was done in gratitude for the support given to her by the people of Cebu during the election. In a break with tradition, she delivered her inaugural address in Manila before departing for Cebu for her inauguration.

2005 Southeast Asian Games[edit]

Metro Cebu and other key Philippine cities hosted the 2005 Southeast Asian Games. The event was held from November 27 to December 5, 2005. Venues for this event includes the Cebu City Sports Complex, Cebu Coliseum, Mandaue Coliseum, University of San Carlos and parts of Danao.

2007 ASEAN Summit and 2nd East Asia Summit[edit]

The 12th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), originally scheduled for December 10–14, 2006 was postponed to January 2007 due to Typhoon Utor. The decision was made in consideration of the safety and welfare of the participants. [2]

The Cebu International Convention Center is a structure built by the Cebu provincial government in time for the 12th ASEAN Summit and 2nd East Asia Summit at a cost of around US$10-million dollars, US$5-million dollars more than expected. It is a three-storey structure with a total floor area of 25,000 square meters and situated on 3.8 hectares of land at the Mandaue Reclamation Area.

51st International Eucharistic Congress[edit]

The 2016 International Eucharistic Congress, held on January 24–31, 2016 was a gathering of Roman Catholic priests, bishops, laymen, nuns and representatives from different parts of the world. The 8-day congress was observed with religious activities like cathechisis, processions and seminars, It was ended with a Statio Orbis or Closing Mass held at South Road Properties on Jan. 31, 2016, it was attended by the Papal Legate, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo.



Globe Innove IT Plaza

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) is the major phone carrier in the metropolis and the entire province. Globelines Innove and Islacom, both subsidiaries of Globe Telecom came in after the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1995.

There are three wireless telecommunication companies serving Metro Cebu as well as the rest of the Philippines. These are:


Metro Cebu's electricity is mostly supplied from Leyte Geothermal Power Plants operated by PNOC-EDC which is interconnected across Cebu through electrical submarine cables operated by TransCo. It is transmitted by the state-owned National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) through several high tension wires. It is stored and distributed by the Visayan Electric Company (VECO). They put out 220VAC 50 Hz (VECO).


In 1974 the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) took over in distributing potable water to the whole metropolis after the Osmena Waterworks System suffered financial losses. MCWD supplies potable water to the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-lapu and Talisay and the municipalities of Consolacion, Lilo-an, Compostela and Cordova from their reservoirs in Talamban and Pardo in Cebu City, Casili in Consolacion and Mananga in Talisay.

Water shortage has always been a problem in Metro Cebu due to deforestation and seawater intrusion of the underground water supply.[3] There was a proposal to acquire water from nearby Bohol island because of the water crisis in the metropolis. [3]

In 1998, the Mananga Phase I Project located in Talisay was completed producing an additional 33,000 cu.m or 33 million liters of potable water per day.



An intersection within Cebu Business Park

Metro Cebu's roadways are among the country's busiest. The south highway, Osmeña Boulevard, Colon Street, and V. Rama are Metro Cebu's major roads. A new highway which is the South Coastal Road or the Cebu Coastal Road is almost complete. The 12 kilometer, 4-lane highway was created to improve traffic in Metro Cebu. It connects Cebu City, Talisay and other southern municipalities. In conjunction with the development of the Cebu South Coastal Road, a roadway underpass nearly a kilometer long is currently under construction to connect the South Coastal Road with the Sergio Osmeña Avenue in the North Reclamation Area. Other planned projects include a series of flyovers in the north district, the Cebu North Coastal Road and Cloverleaf interlink road project.

The resort island of Mactan is connected to the island of Cebu via two bridges. The Marcelo Fernan Bridge and the, much older, Mactan-Mandaue Bridge. A 3rd Cebu-Mactan link is being proposed by the local leaders of Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu, citing the growing inconveniences related to the existing two steel bridges. It has not yet been decided what mode this link would be (an undersea-tunnel or a bridge).


Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is, officially, the only airport in the Metro Cebu. Located in Lapu-Lapu, it is the second busiest airport in the Philippines, after Metro Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It also doubles as the Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base.

Its current terminal complex is capable of handling and serving 4.5 - 6.0 million air passengers annually.

The number of weekly international flights to and from MCIA has constantly increased over the years. Currently, there are direct regular and/or charter flights to the following international destinations: Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo-Narita, Seoul-Incheon, Busan, Taipei-Taoyuan, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, and Kuala Lumpur-Sepang.

Metro Cebu's MCIA is the international gateway to the economic hub of the Central and Southern Philippines. There are numerous daily flights between Cebu and most Philippine cities. Air freight to and from Cebu is reliable and efficient with major international couriers like FedEx, Fastpak Global Express, and 2GO operating here.

A new terminal is ongoing construction. This planned terminal will only be used by airlines flying international routes to/from MCIA.


Metro Cebu's Port of Cebu is the busiest domestic seaport in the Philippines. Along with the ports areas of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, Cebu's "seaport complex" is considered as the busiest port in the Philippines in terms of number of annual passengers. It is also the main port of entry in the province of Cebu and Central Visayas Region. It plays a vital role in the Philippine's shipping industry with about 80 percent of the country's shipping companies that are based here. The port is located at the center of the province's east coast. It is nestled in a natural harbor in the narrow strait between Cebu City and Mactan, the latter providing a natural cover and breakwater, making the port one of the safest and operational the whole year round.

Cebu International Port and Cebu Domestic Port serves container vessels and passenger ships with destinations around the country and the world. Cebu International Port is a multipurpose terminal covering an area of 10 hectares with 690 meters of berthing space and a controlling draught of minus 8.5 meters at MLLW. The Cebu Baseport — Domestic Zone is the area for the domestic transactions of different business coming from and going to the different island of the archipelago. It is dedicated to coastwise shipping with 3.5 kilometers of berthing space, 3 finger piers and 3 passenger terminals.


As one of the most vibrant economic hubs in the Philippines, Metro Cebu has attracted several multinational companies in various industries ranging from business process outsourcing to pharmaceuticals to electronics. Among them are Mitsumi Electric, Pentax, FMC Corporation, Fairchild Semiconductor, Tsuneshi Heavy Industries, Muramoto Audio-Visual, Lexmark International, Teradyne, NEC Technologies, Timex, Olympus Optical, United Technologies, Maitland-Smith and Taiyo Yuden.[4]

Metropolitan Cebu Development Council[edit]

Aerial view of Cebu City

The Metropolitan Cebu Development Council was created by the RDC through Resolution No.117 (1997) and was patterned after the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. It is mandated to formulate development plans, prepare programs and projects, and coordinate/monitor the implementation of programs and projects that address problems and concerns affecting Metro Cebu.

The MCDC is composed of the provincial governor of Cebu; the mayors of the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay; and the mayors of the municipalities of Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, Cordova, Minglanilla and Naga. The governor of Cebu acts as interim chairman of the Council.

In August 2005, the Regional Development Council (RDC 7) of Central Visayas, composed of all the governors of Region VII, the Metropolitan Cebu Development Council headed by the Cebu Provincial Governor and Local Government Units of Metro Cebu expanded the definition of Metro Cebu to include the towns of San Fernando and Carcar in the south and Danao in the north [4].

Member-LGUs of the MCDC believe the commercial and industrial area of Cebu has already expanded to the towns of San Fernando and Carcar and to Danao City.

MCDC does not have legal and institutional powers and resources like the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). The MCDC defines the coverage of Metro Cebu for planning purposes only. The Province of Cebu has proposed a bill to create a permanent Metropolitan Cebu Development Authority (MCDA). This bill is still pending in both the House of Representatives and Senate in the Congress of the Philippines.[5]


  1. ^ RDC enlarges Metro Cebu - Sun. Star Cebu, October 8, 2005
  2. ^ Official Website of the Municipality of San Fernando Cebu
  3. ^ Protection of the water supply of metropolis Cebu in consideration of the saline intrusion [1]
  4. ^ Cebu Holdings, Incorporated (2012). "Business Catalyst". Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  5. ^ NEDA RDC7 Accomplishment Report(7/2001 - 12/2002)

External links[edit]