Rama urges anew for the use of P16-B SRP proceeds

By: Doris Mae C. Mondragon November 15,2017 - 11:07 PM

Former Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama (center) says his Barug Team Rama bloc in the City Council will review the proposed offer of JG Summit Holdings for the eight-hectare lot at the Kawit Island area in the SRP.
CDN Photo/Junjie Mendoza

RATHER than contract a P3-billion loan, Cebu City should instead use the P16-billion cash proceeds it received for the sale of 45.2 hectares of lot at the South Road Properties (SRP) to finance its projects.

Former Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama reiterated this anew as he questioned Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s plan to secure a P3-billion loan offered by the Land Bank of the Philippines to fund the city’s infrastructure projects.

“When I was the mayor, my primary concern was to pay the utang (debts) and that’s precisely why we have the P16 billion… We have enough money to pay the utang (debts),” he said.

In yesterday’s press conference, Osmeña said his administration will try to survive without using the P16-billion proceeds from the sale of the 45-hectare lot in the SRP.

Osmeña said the P3-billion loan is only a buffer fund while his administration negotiates for the sale of an eight-hectare lot at the Kawit Island property within the SRP to prospective investor JG Summit Holdings Inc.

The mayor said under the law, a certificate on the availability of funds signed by the treasurer is required in order to bid out a project.

“We don’t have the funds. What we have is an approved loan. The treasurer can sign the certificate on the availability of funds. So we can bid it out and we can start the project. And you do not have to pay the contractor until the project is finished,” the mayor said.

In response, Rama maintained that public bidding remains the best method of selling the SRP lots instead of unsolicited proposals as pursued by the Osmeña administration since it is transparent.

Despite this, he said Barug Team Rama won’t be an obstructionist in relation to negotiating for the sale of the SRP lots.

“Our position is that we should always review the proposal,” Rama said.

Under the proposed venture with the Cebu City government, JG Summit will lease the eight-hectare island for 50 years to build a hotel, convention center and casino.

JG Summit Holdings Inc. is owned by the Gokongwei family who have interests in air transportation, banking, petrochemical, power generation and distribution, real estate and hotel and telecommunications.

Aside from providing 8,000 jobs to Cebuanos, Osmeña said the P18-billion investment will raise appraisal rates for the SRP lots.

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TAGS: anew, Rama, urges

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