The South Road Properties (Part1)
STREETLIFE - Nigel Paul C. Villarete (The Freeman) - January 8, 2019 - 12:00am

The beginning

All Cebuanos know it by heart, nowadays, but we sometimes use the term erroneously, unfortunately, to include areas not exactly covered by it. The SRP stands for “South Road Properties,” and it is the entire reclamation project offshore of Cebu City bounded entirely by water – by the Mactan Channel to the east and the 70-meter channel separating it from mainland Cebu City.

The only access to it are the viaduct of the Cebu South Coastal Road, the bridge at the south connecting Cebu City and Talisay, and the bridge connecting the SRP to Cebu City through F. Vestil Street.

If you are younger than 20 years old, you would not have remembered that the huge space we see now where SM Seaside stands was open sea back then. And many of the younger generation also don’t know that SRP meant a different thing back then – the “South Reclamation Project.” Because the SRP was being reclaimed from the open sea.

However, it was designed not attached to Cebu Island but to Kawit Island (yes, you had to ride a banca to get to where Kawit is now!). Technically speaking, it’s a reclaimed area off Kawit Island rather than off Cebu Island. And it’s still separated from the city.

How did the SRP get to where it is now? It’s a long story dating 30 years, back to 1988, when the newly-elected mayor, Tomas Osmeña, envisioning a brighter future not only for Cebu City but for the new emerging metropolis as well, including Mactan Island, secured Japanese government assistance to fund several economic intervention projects.

Japan’s Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund financed a study called the Special Assistance for Project Formulation for the proposed Metro Cebu Development Project (MCDP). The first package of projects funded was called MCDP-1.

MCDP-1 was a bunch of road-widening and concreting. Again, if you’re below 20, you wouldn’t know what it was like for B. Rodriguez Street before. Or V. Rama Avenue. Not to mention the very narrow Imus Road. This was immediately followed by more roads under MCDP-2 – Mactan Ring Road, F. Cabahug, etc., the two bus terminals (North and South), two markets (Talisay and Mandaue), and the Inayawan Landfill.

In 1991, a third bunch of projects were submitted to NEDA – around 21 road links at first, and a reclamation project in the south. After further review and studies, these eventually were narrowed down to three major projects – The Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR), the Cebu Circumferential Road, and the SRP, approved by NEDA on October 2003. The Loan Agreement was signed in 1995.

Unfortunately, only the CSCR and the SRP were funded by OECF, the circumferential road remained a dream. If you just follow its alignment, you could just imagine the breathtaking view it would have afforded us, worthy of its nickname – “the Hillside Bypass,” overlooking the expanse of the SRP towards the sea. Someday, we may still have it.

If not in this generation, maybe the next. But the SRP is there to show what Cebuanos could accomplish, and as a beaconing hope for a better future. (

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with