Resolve road dispute, Rama tells developers
TWO property developers locked in a dispute over W. Geonzon Street in barangay Apas, Cebu City were given one week by Mayor Michael Rama to resolve their issses.
Rama said he met with representatives of Filinvest Land Inc (Filinvest) and Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI) which owns Cebu IT Park through its Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. and warned them of consequences should their dispute continue.
“They should put their heads together. They should never put people and the general welfare in jeopardy. I am giving them one week to get their act together. If not, then we will act,” Rama said.
W. Geonzon Street, open to public traffic, is the main access road to the Cebu IT Park owned by CPVDC.
Filinvest has been pressing to have access through a perimeter wall of the street for its ongoing construction of a BPO complex, a joint venture with the Province of Cebu but CPVDC has said “punching through” the wall would violate terms of their permit as a special economic zone.
In a press statement Cerwin T. Eviota, communications consultant of Filinvest Land Inc., confirmed that they received the mayor’s directive during a meeting Rama had with Filinvest Vice President Allan G. Alfon and Francis O. Monera, CPVDC president.
“Filinvest is ready to sit down with CPVDC. In the same manner we believe it would be also proper to dialogue with the Province of Cebu being the owner of the property (engaged in) a build-transfer-operate (BTO) project with Filinvest,” Eviota said.
In a previous statement, CPVDC said “it is open to discussing the matter further directly with the parties concerned, to preserve jobs and investments at stake and for the best interest of Cebu.”
The Cebu City Council voted 7-2 to declare W. Geonzon Street a public road in last Wednesday’s session. They acted based on the appeal of the Alliance of Barangay Apas Community Association whose members said they fear that CPVDC would later close the road.
Councilor Nestor Archival Sr. disagreed with the declaration, saying it appears an encroachment on Ayala which owns the road and has actually been allowing traffic, including jeepneys pass through.
But Rama said a declaration is not enough and there should be an ordinance to back it up.
During their meeting, Rama said he reminded Filinvest and Ayala about the history of the area as the site of the old Cebu City Jail.
“Had I known that they would fight over it, then I would not have worked to make that vacant. But it was needed,” he said.
He said the developers shouldn’t inconvenience city residents especially the residents of barangay Apas.
If the issue remains unresolved after a week, Rama said he’ll meet with the city attorney, city engineer and consultants to discuss how the city will intervene.
He didn’t specify what the city might do and only said “we will come to that.”
“I want them to think of the dream of all. Because I’m always willing to cut friendship if the people’s dreams are being repressed,” he said.
Asked what he expects from Filinvest and Ayala, he said “they should bring tranquillity and harmony so that peace will reign and good tidings are coming.”
CPVDC recently held a a job fair called Project Trabaho last Aug. 8 for residents of Apas, Mabolo, Luz. Hipodromo, Carreta and Kamputhaw to prioritize hiring of residents for the redevelopment of a two-hectare mixed use super block in Cebu I.T. Park.
The six barangays are members of the Cebu Business Park and Neighboring Barangays Altruistic Alliance, Inc. (CBPNBAAI).
The project, expected to break ground within the year, includes a regional mall, a hotel and office buildings at the heart of the Cebu I.T. Park.
Geonzon St. in IT Park now a ‘public road’
‘Public not restricted in passing through street’
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.