Vice mayor: Unite behind SRP project

By: Doris C. Bongcac February 06,2014 - 08:01 AM

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella

Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella yesterday got  down from the presiding officer’s platform to deliver a privilege speech  appealing to City Councilors  to unite behind the proposed  establishment of a Japanese retirement facility in the South Roads Property (SRP).

Yielding the gavel to Councilor Nestor Archival, the vice mayor  asked his colleagues in the local legislature to approve the project’s terms of reference and  allow the executive department to  proceed with negotiations with the  Japanese investor.

“If we do not entertain this possibility of establishing Cebu City’s first international retirement facility, someone else will,  some other city, some other province, some other private sector,” he said.

The  business proposal is estimated to bring in   P32 billion in revenues, according to city officials.

 

COMMON MISSION

Labella appealed to  councilors allied with the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK)  to set aside “partisan posturing.”

“It is no secret that we are two families in one house now.  But we have a common mission here.  In a broad sense, that mission is to advance the city’s development,” said Labella.

Labella said the city government also needs the money it will earn from the  retirement facility to fund drainage improvement projects and delivery of basic services.

An executive session is set on Feb. 19 to thresh out the matter.

 

OPEN MIND

Responding  to his privilege speech, BO-PK allied councilors  told Labella  they support the plan in principle.

Councilor Margot Osmeña said there was a need to clarify how much of the P32 billion in projected revenues would  go to the city’s coffers.

“Don’t worry.  We have an open mind,” she said.

Councilor Alvin Dizon asked Labella to give them “the benefit of the doubt.”

“We work with our mandate and each of us is accountable. Don’t put political color in  questions we make during discussions. It is not because of politics. My appeal to the vice mayor and the executive department is to give us the benefit of the doubt because we work within our mandate,” he said.

Councilor Hans Abella, an administration ally, welcomed the views of the BO-PK members.

He said that he is looking forward to attending the executive session on  Feb. 19.

Last week,  Councilor Gerry Carillo suggested  holding  an executive session on the matter.

A 2008 aerial view of Cebu’s South Road Properties. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

ACCOUNTABILITY

“I never doubted the objectivity, independence and the accountability of the council,” Labella said.

Officials of ILand Co. Japan led by its president Kazuhito Matzuda presented highlights of the  the proposed facility to  city officials last week.

Labella said  that Cebu City was chosen  because of the hospitality, professionalism of its people.

It is also cheaper to care for elderly Japanese nationals if they are brought to a facility here rather than let them  stay in a retirement facility in Japan and make their young  nationals  pay for it.

 

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TAGS: Cebu, foreigner, investors, Japanese, news, Philippines, SRP, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella

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