Garcia assures SRP loan will be paid within Labella’s term
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, the chairperson of the City Council’s committee on budget and finance, said the city is close to paying off the P4.65 billion loan the city incurred in 1995 for the building of the South Road Properties (SRP).
The City Council approved a P10 billion annual budget for 2021, which did not include a payment for the loan, because the Annual Investment Plan (AIP) approved for 2021 allocated a total of P371 million for the interest of the load.
Only allocations made in the AIP can be included in the 2021 annual budget.
With this, the council as a whole decided to forego the inclusion of the loan payment for the annual budget, opting for a bigger supplemental budget for the first quarter of 2021 amounting to at least P1 billion.
This would pay off a huge amount of the remaining balance, as only P1.7 billion is left unpaid of the SRP loan.
Garcia said that if the payment will push through in 2021, then under the term of Mayor Edgardo Labella, the city will have finally completed its payment of the loan by 2022, or 27 years after.
“This has been the promise of the mayor to really pay off the loan and we will find ways to achieve it,” said Garcia.
Since this is the only loan the city has taken out in the past years, paying off the SRP loan would render the city debtless and decrease its liabilities.
The SRP is currently a prime property of the city government with major developments reaching up to a P500 billion in total worth of projects being developed including the SM-Ayala Consortium lots sold in 2015, the Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc. joint venture at Kawit island, and Filinvest.
The lots in the SRP is expected to increase in value with the opening of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) targeted at the end of 2021. /rcg
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