Land swap deal inked, beneficiaries relieved
Tomas asks grantees to reject Rama in 2019 polls
From now on, Celsa Ferrer can finally sleep soundly at night, free from the nightmares of a looming demolition and the terrifying sight of wrecking crews.
The 62-year-old Ferrer, who has been residing in Sitio Bulisocorro, Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City for more than two decades, was among 5,000 families who will benefit from the 93-1 land swap deal that was finally signed yesterday by Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III.
“Sa una, maka-stress gyud ug huna-huna aha mo padulong labi na if naa kay madunggan nga naay demolition order,” said Ferrer.
(Before, it was so stressful having to worry about where to stay next when you hear reports of a demolition order.)
Yesterday, City Hall and the Capitol signed the deed of donation and acceptance for the properties which will be covered under the landmark deal on the ninth floor of Cebu City Hall.
The occasion marked the end of uncertainty for families residing in any of the lots included in the deal.
The historic signing of the documents — which was loudly cheered on by a packed gallery of beneficiaries and officials — meant that City Hall and Capitol, once at odds with each other, can now legally swap properties.
Witnessing yesterday’s ceremonial signing were City Councilors Joy Augustus Young, Mary Ann Delos Santos, Alvin Arcilla, Jerry Guardo, Margot Osmeña, Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino and Provincial Legal Officer, lawyer Orvi Ortega.
Under 93-1, the province will give to the city 32 hectares of unsold or unpaid lots under the 93-1 ordinance being occupied by Ferrer and other beneficiaries.
Other lots to be given by the Capitol to the city include the 1.5 hectare lot in the Department of Agriculture compound in Barangay Guadalupe; a 2,358-square meter lot along Gorordo Ave., and another 577-square meter lot on Don Gil Garcia St. in Barangay Capitol Site.
The city on the other hand, will give to the province the 3.3-hectare block 27 in the North Reclamation Area (NRA), and other NRA lots where the Septage Treatment Plant (13,711 square meters) and the city’s abattoir (2,476 square meters) are located.
It will also donate a 2.5-hectare lot in the South Road Properties, a 9-hectare lot in Pulpogan, Consolacion and the Cebu City Zoo in Barangay Kalunasan.
For Davide, the signing of the deed of donation and acceptance is also a big relief for the Capitol.
“Finally na dayon na ang exchange. We are also relieved because this has been going on and now we have reached an agreement,” said Davide.
Osmeña, on the other hand, is asking one favor from the beneficiaries. And it has something to do with the May 2019 elections.
“Ayaw kalimte ang nagbabag sa inyong damgo. Si Mike Rama (former Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama),” said Osmeña.
“I heard that he’s running for vice mayor. Hangyo ko kaninyo don’t vote for Rama, so I can focus on Labella (Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgar Labella,” he added.
Sought for his comments, Labella told Cebu Daily News over the phone that he respects the mayor’s “prerogative.”
“Besides, it’s the people of Cebu City who gets to decide who they want this May 2019 elections,” said Labella.
“With all due respect to the mayor, the council decided to pass the 93-1 unanimously. He shouldn’t be taking the credit all to himself,” he added.
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