Gwen to discuss plans to ‘save CICC’ with Cortes

By: Rosalie Abatayo July 21,2019 - 06:19 PM

The once proud Cebu International Convention Center is now an abandoned, decrepit building with its grounds used as a temporary relocation site for Mandaue City’s fire victims. | CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — With the change in leadership in Cebu province and Mandaue City, what lies ahead for the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC)?

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said she was hoping to discuss with Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes on how to ‘salvage’ the situation in CICC.

The CICC was built during Garcia’s first stint as governor in 2006 as the venue of the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) Summit in 2007.

The P800-million structure, which sits at a 3.8-hectare lot owned by Mandaue City government, was sold by the province to the city government in 2018 for P300 million.

Read more: Mandaue City now owns CICC

“I hope to sit down with Mayor Jonas [Cortes] nga masalbar nato ang sitwasyon (on what we can do to save the situation of the CICC). We do not also know the plans of Mayor Jonas,” Garcia said.

Garcia said she would want to consult with Cortes on remedies to save the building.

After the 7.2 magnitude earthquake and typhoon Yolanda in 2013, severely damaged the building, this has not been repaired and has been abandoned since.

The CICC grounds, however, has become the shelter for the fire victims of Barangay Mantuyong in 2016 and the Tipolo fire on June 27, 2019.

Read more: Gwen hits Davide on deterioration of CICC

When the province sold the CICC to the Mandaue City government, Garcia was vocal about her opposition to the sale of CICC for P3oo million or less than half of the price of the cost of the construction of the building. She has also lamented how the previous administration in the Capitol ‘failed’ to preserve the structure.

Lawyer Jamaal Calipayan, the city administrator of Mandaue, said in a separate interview that a P15-billion joint venture agreement had already been in effect between the city and a private developer.

“There is an existing contract. JV agreement with Millenium [Resorts Corp.] na. [It was] signed during [former mayor Luigi] Quisumbing’s time,” Calipayan told CDN Digital.

An “Infinity City” which is an entertainment and commercial complex project has been planned to rise in the CICC compound.

Although Garcia admitted that she would have wanted the province to reacquire the property, she would understand if the mayor would refuse to return CICC to the province since the previous city administration had also gone and made initial steps in developing the CICC.

Garcia added that the city no longer had any obligation with the province since the memorandum of agreement that had given the province a 25-year right on the land where the CICC sat had been rescinded by the previous administrations of the city and provincial governments./dbs

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TAGS: Cebu‬, center, CICC, convention, Garcia, Gwendolyn, international, Jonas Cortes, Mandaue City

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