Tug-of-war rages over IT Park road

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita |July 14,2014 - 01:28 AM

Two private companies are fighting over a road in barangay Apas in  Cebu City.

Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI), which is constructing a P5-billion business process outsourcing complex on a lot owned by the provincial government, sought the help of Gov. Hilario Davide III and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama over the alleged refusal of the management of Cebu I.T. Park to let their heavy equipment enter  W. Geonzon St.

FLI officials said this has delayed the completion of their project.

W. Geonzon St. is a public street. The Sangguniang Barangay of Apas recently passed a resolution declaring the street public and open to everyone’s use.

“W. Geonzon St. was already existing as a public road even before Cebu I.T.  Park was developed. Since time immemorial, Geonzon St. served as the main access for residents of sitio San Miguel and other communities in barangay Apas,” the barangay resolution said.

The street was named after lawyer Winefreda Geonzon in August 19,1991 to  honor  her contributions to Cebu City in the field of human rights and the alleviation of the plight of prisoners.

The barangay said the street is exempt from payment of real property taxes to the city government since it’s being used by the general public.

“This barangay firmly believes that Geonzon St. is a public road and Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corporation (CPVDC)/Cebu I.T.  Park should continuously allow the public free and unhampered use and access of Geonzon Street’s road and sidewalks,” the resolution further read.

Last week, Davide said he’ll help the FLI in resolving the road-use issue. He said the problem lies with the Ayala Group, which owns Cebu I.T. Park, for refusing to allow the entry of heavy equipment that would be used in the FLI project.

The provincial government has been incurring losses because of the delay in the construction of the BPO complex. The project is a joint venture project between the Capitol and FLI.

The Ayala Group, in a statement sent to Cebu Daily News, said the road is duly titled under CPVDC and that the road was only opened to the public “by mere tolerance of the I.T. Park association and CPVDC.”

“Properties outside of the Park cannot just breach boundaries on the privately-titled road without overstepping ownership rights,” Ayala said in their statement.

The locators and investors in Cebu I.T. Park, through the association’s board, “expressed serious concerns on the need to secure the private property and to safeguard its overall business interest,” they added. The group said they are communicating with the Province about their reasons for securing the perimeter and limiting access to the I.T.  Park.

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