City to pay amortization for SRP loan on Monday
THE Cebu City government is set to pay its second amortization of the year on Monday (Aug. 20) for the loan it incurred from the Japanese government for the construction of the South Road Properties (SRP).
As this developed, opposition Councilor Jose Daluz III in his privilege speech, urged Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to pay the loan in full and ask the Japanese government to directly convert the amount from yen to peso so as not to “prejudice” the city.
Daluz said that the city still has to buy US dollars in order to pay the loan in Japanese yen.
“The prejudice there is that the dollar is not only fluctuating but is also going up. May I remind our mayor to consider converting our loan directly to peso. And we will not be subjected to foreign rates,” said Daluz.
Yesterday, the Philippine peso maintained a rate of P53 to a dollar, a rate that stood since the start of August while the exchange rate between the Philippine peso and the Japanese yen was at 0.4820.
The city pays its SRP loan amortization to the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) every Feb. 20 and Aug. 20.
Records from the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO), citing LBP’s latest computation, showed that the city government still has a balance of nearly P2 billion for the development of the 300-hectare reclaimed land.
The CTO, however, failed to give the exact amount to be paid this Monday, saying it is the LBP which will release the computed bill.
In building the SRP, the city got a loan of 12.315 billion yen (roughly P4.65 billion) in 1995 and has since paid more than P5 billion including the interest rate of 1.5 percent.
The amount has drastically increased through the years though, due to differences in foreign exchange rates since the loan was availed in Japanese yen through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
The loan for the SRP will mature in 2025.
Sought for his comments, Osmeña told reporters in a separate interview that he would rather first reclaim the parcels of SRP land purchased by the country’s two largest conglomerates which he said were undervalued than heed Daluz’s suggestion.
“The property they are stealing from Cebu City is worth P41 billion. Mas ganahan ko nga bawion ang yuta nga ilang gikawat (I would rather recover the land they stole),” said Osmeña.
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