Who is prostituting the Kamagayan Terminal?

By: Nestor Ramirez April 04,2017 - 09:29 PM


During his speech in the presence of barangay officials who attended the disaster management training conducted by City Hall held at the social hall of the Cebu Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) last March 30, Mayor Tomas Osmeña mentioned the controversy at the van-for-hire (V-hire) terminal in Kamagayan that earned him a legal suit.

The mayor questioned the opposition’s call for the terminal’s closure due to the lack of some requirements when the newly designated terminal serves the public well because of its accessible location being in the heart of the downtown area.

In the same speech, Osmeña volunteered the information that the city government earns P100 every time a V-hire would leave the facility for its destination.

In an earlier-published news report, the mayor said the city government already earned P 1.2 million since the area that used to be occupied by City Center Commercial Complex was turned into a terminal last November.

The mayor’s statement was affirmed by the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) revenue clerk Adrian Navia who said in another news report that the city collects P20 to P100 from drivers depending on the trip and the number of passengers.

If the mayor and the revenue collector hold the same figure, several drivers whom I talked to revealed that they cough up P170 every time they leave the terminal loaded with passengers. Where does the extra P70 go?

The same informant told me that when the Kamagayan terminal started operation last November they only pay P140 every time they leave, but starting in the last week of February, the figure rose to P170 allegedly due to a barangay official allied with the administration who demanded a share.

Judging from the manner the mayor presented the information to the public that the city only earns P100 per trip, he might be unaware that there are personalities believed to be his political supporters prostituting the Kamagayan terminal.

The question that is left unanswered is where will the additional P70 that the drivers have to pay in addition to the P 100 collected by the city treasury go?

I believe in the mayor’s sincerity on the operation of the terminal because if he is hiding something from the public he could have calculated his move by not volunteering any figure to the public in the midst of complaints lodged by an opposition official questioning the legality of the presence of the terminal in Kamagayan.

The collection of bloated terminal fees from drivers is not the only money-making venture happening in the area that benefits the mayor’s allies, and I am just hoping that the city government also earns from these businesses operating inside the terminal.

Aside from the illegal gasoline station that used to operate inside the terminal that suddenly shut down when their presence was reported by the media, who are earning from the operations of the eatery/carenderia, butane dealership, toilets for a fee and the car wash all located inside the terminal?

Some drivers confided to me that they are not allowed to eat anywhere except in the carenderia operated by a well-known supporter of the mayor who also operates the butane dealership in the area or else they would not be allowed to pick up passengers in the terminal.

The car wash station and the comfort rooms are allegedly operated by the barangay official allied with the administration.

I can turn a blind eye on the other business ventures of the administration’s allies inside the terminal except the butane dealership because of its potent danger to residents and terminal clients since it is highly flammable.

Have we not learned from the Talisay City incident where a truck loaded with butane canisters erupted into flames?

I could not argue with the mayor on the comfort and viability of the location of the terminal because the area is very accessible compared to when the previous administration brought the terminal to a mall to help the business bring in more foot traffic for its tenants.

Personally, I like the V-hire terminal to be in Kamagayan because of accessibility and comfort not to mention the additional income to entrepreneurs in the area, but I also believe that the mayor must legitimize its operation by complying with the ordinance that regulates terminal operation in the city.

What saddens me is that despite the physical removal of bawdy houses in the barangay and its apparent respite from being perceived as Cebu City’s red-light district due to extensive government operation against human trafficking, the area continues to be prostituted and milked by some unscrupulous quarters.

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TAGS: bus, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu Historical Affairs Commission, chac, City Center Commercial Complex, City Treasurer’s Office, mayor Tomas Osmeña, terminal, transportation

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