Mandaue City to start repossessing 1.2-hectare part of lot leased to Cenore as it awaits Big Hotel closure
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu— The Mandaue City government will be repossessing majority of the 1.4-hectare property leased to Cenore Corp. while they await the three-month leeway that the company asked to close down Big Hotel.
Lawyer Elaine Bathan, executive secretary to Mandaue City Mayor Gabriel Luis “Luigi” Quisumbing, said only about 2,0000 square meters or 0.2 hectare of the leased property is being used by the hotel itself.
“They are giving up possession in that property already, and there are areas outside of Big Hotel, ug sa kadako sa area nga giabangan sa Katumanan [Hardware Inc], which is 1.4 hectares, gamay ra kaayo ang gi-occupy sa hotel. There were parts of the area nga gihimong hardware, which was built by Katumanan, and, in fact, there were areas nga bakante, which the city would like to repossess already,” Bathan said in an interview with the media on Monday, March 11.
In a letter sent to the City Mayor’s Office on Friday, March 8, Cenore Corp. expressed its intention to close Big Hotel, saying that it had already incurred an average daily income loss of P3 million after the city served the notice of closure to the establishment.
Its president, Roderick Ngo, asked the city to give them three months to give time for them to comply with the pertinent requirements of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), such as the one-month notice required under the Labor Code for the retrenchment of about 300 affected workers; and arrange and settle financial obligations of the hotel not only to its workers but to its suppliers and to its debtors, among others
The closure order stemmed from an alleged irregularity in the terms of the lease agreement on the 1.4-hectare lot that these establishments occupy along Mantawi Drive in Barangay Tipolo. The lot was first leased to Katumanan Hardware Inc. (KHI) in 2007, but the company assigned the leasing rights to Cenore Corp. in 2013 or right after the lease term was extended to 25 years.
The Commission on Audit (COA) earlier flagged the deed of assignment between KHI and Cenore since it did not have a prior approval of the council. COA also asked the city to submit a new lease contract with Cenore.
Bathan said they had consistently asked Cenore Corp. to submit a new lease contract to rectify what has been called out by the COA report.
Bathan said that they would be seeking the opinion of the City Legal Office to determine the proper procedure in repossessing the property.
“We will make sure that we will get the correct evaluation ana nga mga property as of this time, and then we will open its doors to possible investors who are planning to invest in the city of Mandaue,” Bathan added./dbs
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