Councilor Garcia: Only court can suspend construction works in Carbon
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Raymond Garcia, the majority floor of the City Council, said only the court can stop the construction works in the Carbon Market.
Garcia said this after the City Council passed through division of the house a motion to request Mayor Michael Rama to hold in abeyance all construction and demolition in the Carbon Market aligned with the Joint-Venture-Agreement (JVA) between the city government and Megawide Construction Corp.
The request to hold all construction works is until the supplemental Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) the mayor has submitted to the council will be tackled and passed.
“It was just a request to the mayor because ang mayor nagsubmit ug ammended MOA. Nirequest lang ang council unta but it’s not binding upon the city nor is it binding upon Megawide because both parties, ilang sundon is ang JVA,” said Garcia.
The majority floor leader along with other administration councilors objected to the motion, but they were overpowered by the minority floor, ironically, because two members of the majority floor were absent during the voting.
Regardless of the passed motion, Garcia said the council cannot compel the executive department to stop the construction because the city government has signed the JVA and the JVA must be followed.
There are two ways to actually stop the construction: first, that the court orders the suspension of the JVA, and second, that both the city government and Megawide mutually agree to the suspension.
The city cannot unilaterally suspend the construction on its own accord.
Garcia notes that two cases including the temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Carbon Market JVA have been dismissed.
“You know, wa gyoy intention of the city government to stop the contract. The supplemental MOA is just to make the contract more advantageous to the city,” he added.
Megawide said in a text message to CDN Digital that following the resolution from the council, they have not received any communication from the city government to stop the construction works.
“We have not received any formal order from the City Government regarding development works at Carbon. We believe we continue to have the support of the city government on the project as the modernization – which went through a thorough vetting and consultation process – will benefit the majority of the Cebuano public, including market-goers, vendors, and other stakeholders.”
“Moreover, a petition for a TRO to stop the project was previously denied by a Cebu court. Cebu2World remains committed to the development of Carbon and its infrastructure for its stakeholders and all Cebuanos,” said Megawide.
Consequently, Market Administrator, Racquel Arce, said that Mayor Michael Rama has not given any instruction to stop the transfer of vendors or any progress to the Carbon Market modernization program.
“Wala pa mi nagkasturya ni mayor. Ang ako, ang stand sa opisina sa Market Authority, igo lang ta mobuhat unsay sugo sa atong labaw,” she said.
For now, vendors are still being transferred to the Interim market, but only if they are willing to do so. No forced transfer is being done, assured Arce. /rcg
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