Pesquera: City was never bankrupt

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita |August 02,2016 - 10:38 PM
PESQUERA

PESQUERA

In an effort to debunk claims that Cebu City government is broke, Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera yesterday compared the city’s revenues in 2009 and 2015 which Mayors Tomas Osmeña and Michael Rama left to the next administration, respectively.

Pesquera, in a privilege speech during the regular council session, said that by the end of 2009, which was still part of Osmeña’s term, City Hall only had P3 billion in revenues.

On the other hand, by the end of last year, the city had P6.2 billion in revenues; 2015 was still part of Rama’s term before losing his reelection bid to Osmeña last May.

This, according to Pesquera, should show that Rama actually left more money to Osmeña this year compared to what Osmeña left to Rama when the latter assumed the mayorship from Osmeña in 2010.

Pesquera, who heads the council’s committee on budget and finance, also showed that in 2009, the city had a net income of P997 million compared to that in 2015 when the city had a net income of P1.53 billion.

“Is the city bankrupt with this amount of money, P1.5 billion? As the saying goes, figures cannot lie, only liars cannot figure,” Pesquera said in her speech.

This was why she criticized Osmeña for terminating job order workers, casual employees, barangay health workers, barangay environment officers and daycare teachers in the city allegedly because the city does not have enough funds.

Pesquera also pointed out how Osmeña decided to cut down the allowances to judges and clerks of courts in Cebu City courts and ordering the cancellation of the annual Miss Cebu pageant.

In terms of cash ends, Pesquera showed in her presentation that in 2009, the city only had P2.28 billion while in 2015, it had P8.27 billion.

Pesquera, who is an accountant and a lawyer, also compared the city’s revenues from selling lots in the South Road Properties in 2009 and 2015.

She said that in 2009, the city disposed a total of 81 hectares of the SRP — 30 hectares to SM Prime Holdings Inc. at P8,910 per square meter; 10 hectares to Filinvest Land Inc. at P15,000 per square meter and another 40 hectares still to Filinvest through a joint venture.

But despite this, the city only earned P4.3 billion from the sold lots which was payable in six years, and another P4.5 billion expected from the joint venture project which is payable in 18 years.

On the other hand, in 2015, Pesquera said the city only sold 45.5 hectares, a little over half of what was disposed in 2009, but the city earned more revenue at P16.7 billion through the sale which is payable in three years.

The sale in 2015 included the 26.3 hectares to SM at P38,000 per square meter (for a total of P10 billion); and the 19.2 hectares to Filinvest at P35,128 per square meters (for a total of P6.7 billion).

Pesquera’s privilege speech was noted by the council. She also asked the council’s secretariat to send copies of her speech as well as the data she presented to all of the city’s 80 barangays as well as to the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) for their reference.

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