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Metro Cebu is the main urban centre of the province of Cebumarker in the Philippinesmarker. Metro Cebu is located along the central eastern portion of the island including the nearby island of Mactanmarker. 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 on Cebu Citymarker, the capital of Cebu and the regional center of Central Visayasmarker 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 Metro Manila Development Authority, the MCDC does not have legal and institutional powers.

Cities and municipalities

Map of Metro Cebu within the Philippines.
It is comprised five cities and eight municipalities.

City Population¹ Area (km²) Pop. density (per km²)
Cebu Citymarker 798,809 279.45 2,858.50
Danao Citymarker 109,354 107.30 1,019.14
Lapu-Lapu Citymarker 292,530 59.23 4,938.88
Mandaue Citymarker 318,575 28.88 11,030.99
Talisay Citymarker 179,359 42.22 4,248.20
Municipality Population¹ Area (km²) Pop. density (per km²)
Carcarmarker 100,632 96.10 1,047.16
Compostela 39,167 68.90 568.46
Consolacionmarker 87,544 42.05 2,081.90
Cordovamarker 45,066 8.46 5,326.95
Liloanmarker 92,181 45.09 2,044.38
Minglanillamarker 101,585 48.97 2,074.43
Nagamarker 95,163 98.24 968.68
San Fernandomarker 54,932 74.05 741.82

¹ 2007 Census

Note: In October 2005, development planners from Regional Development Council 7, Metropolitan Cebu Development Council headed by the Cebu Provincial Governor and Local Government Units of Cebumarker expanded the definition of Metro Cebu to include the cities Carcarmarker and Danaomarker, and the municipality of San Fernandomarker.

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 City. The international airport and the export processing zone are located in Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan Island. Danao City is primarily a mining city while Talisay City is a residential city with its income generated by small and medium sized businesses.


Map of Metro Cebu.
Aerial View of Metro Cebu.
Cebu City was a fishing village and farming settlement governed by Muslim chieftains who traded with the neighboring islands of Malaysiamarker and Indonesiamarker.

On April 7, 1521, Portuguesemarker explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Cebu. Magellan, however, failed to successfully claim the Philippines for the crown of Spain, having been slain in Mactan Islandmarker on April 27, 1521 by its chieftain Datu Lapu-lapu.

On April 27, 1565, Spanishmarker explorers led by Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in Cebu. 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 Manilamarker in 1571.

Mandaue City then was known as the "Cove of Cebu." It 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 an 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 were 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 City, was named after a tribal chieftain called Datu Lapu-Lapu.

Metropolitan Cebu was conceptualized by government planners in the 1970s and was based on experiences of urban planning in Metro Manilamarker. 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 Visayasmarker and northern Mindanaomarker areas with a population largely dependent on the economic opportunities prevailing in the area.



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


Cebuano and English are spoken in Metro Cebu. English is commonly used in educational institutions and business transactions. Other languages spoken include Tagalog, Spanish and a range of Visayan dialects.


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

These includes:

Other note-worthy universities and colleges include:

A large number of students from the neighboring provinces such as Boholmarker and Misamis Orientalmarker 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 two internationally-connected educational institutions. They are: the Cebu International School, which is located in Sitio Pit-os, Barangay Talamban and the Center for International Education (CIE), which is a secondary-level educational institution offering some tertiary-level courses.


2004 presidential inauguration

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 Capitolmarker 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 Manilamarker before departing for Cebu for her inauguration.

2005 Southeast Asian Games

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 Citymarker.

2006 ASEAN Summit

The 12th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), originally scheduled for Dec. 10-14 was postponed to January 2007 due to Typhoon Utor. The decision was made in consideration of the safety and welfare of the participants. [190614]

The Cebu International Convention Centermarker is a structure built by the Cebumarker 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 Citymarker Reclamation Area.

Public utilities


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 thru 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 They put out 220VAC 60 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 City.

Water shortage has always been a problem in Metro Cebu due to deforestation and seawater intrusion of the underground water supply. There was a proposal to acquire water from nearby Boholmarker island because of the water crisis in the metropolis. [190615]

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


See also: Transportation in the Philippines


Metro Cebu's roadways are among the country's busiest. The south highway, Osmena Boulevard, Colon, 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 City 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 Bridgemarker and the, much older, Mactan-Mandaue Bridgemarker.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 Airportmarker (MCIA) is, officially, the only international airport in the Visayas and the only airport in the Metro Cebu. Located in Lapu-Lapu City, it is the second busiest airport in the Philippines, after Metro Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airportmarker. It also doubles as the Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base.

Its current terminal complex is capable of handling and serving 3.5 - 4.0 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: Singaporemarker, Hong Kongmarker, Kota Kinabalumarker, Kuala Lumpurmarker, Tokyo-Naritamarker, Seoul-Incheonmarker, Busanmarker, Taipeimarker, Palaumarker, Shanghai-Pudong and Dohamarker. There are also chartered and extra flights to Busanmarker and Kaohsiungmarker.

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 has been proposed. This planned terminal will only be used by airlines flying international routes to/from MCIA.


Metro Cebu's Port of Cebu is the secong busiest 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 Visayasmarker 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 Citymarker and Mactan Islandmarker, 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.

Metropolitan Cebu Development Council

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, Lapulapu 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 Fernandomarker and Carcar City in the south and Danao Citymarker in the north [190616].

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

See also


External links

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