Cebu reclamation authority authorizes Cordova to negotiate for dev’t project

By Melissa Q. Cabahug, Victor Anthony V. Silva |April 09,2015 - 01:55 AM

THE Cebu Provincial Reclamation Authority (CPRA) gave  Cordova town the green light to negotiate with SM Prime Holdings for a plan to reclaim  1,500 hectares  of foreshore land in the boundary of barangays Day-as and Pilipog.

“The Provincial Board authorized Cordova town with concurrence from the CPRA  to negotiate and this will be later  subjected to a  (Swiss) challenge. So far the proponent is SM (Prime)  Holdings,” said Vice Gov.  Agnes Magpale.

The CPRA, Provincial Board Members Arleigh Jay Sitoy, Grecilda Sanchez-Zaballero and Christopher Baricuatro and Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy held a closed-door meeting on the reclamation project.

Magpale, vice chairperson of CPRA, told reporters  after their meeting that they have not yet approved the plan to reclaim the 1,500 hectares.

She said SM Prime Holdings proposed a housing project for  fisherfolk affected by the reclamation project, scholarships for the children, one hectare asked by SM to sell for real estate and canals for road access to the airport.

Swiss challenge

The PB on MOnday unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Cordova to negotiate with SM Prime Holdings Inc. for the project which will cost P138 billion.

Magpale clarified that the partnership of Cordova and the SM Prime Holdings is not yet final.

She said interested bidders need to undergo a  Swiss challenge.

“The terms of reference to be opened by the proponent town will be announced to allow another company to challenge adto. It does not mean that the original proponent is already assured of winning,” she said.

Magpale said under the deal about 51 percent will go to the government while the 49 percent will go to the private partner.

Joint venture

The province requires 10 percent of share of the profits to be generated through the joint venture.

Of the total 1,500 hectares, the province will have the 150 hectares share.

Magpale said the project will be implemented even during the election period if it is started early.

Meanwhile the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it is investigating reports of a reclamation project in barangay Gabi which they said may affect marine life there like the eel locally known as bakasi.

Cordova fisherfolk staged a picket to protest the rumored reclamation project which Mayor Sitoy denied.

Friendship bridge

He said he knows there is a road project in barangay Gabi that is implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Later Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III expressed support to the 1,500-hectare reclamation and development project in Cordova.

The governor met with representatives of SM Prime Holdings Inc. and Mayor Sitoy who presented the proposal to the Cebu Provincial Reclamation Authority (CPRA).

Governor Davide also said he hopes the Bohol-Cebu Friendship Bridge project will materialize soon.

Bohol Gov. Edgardo Chatto and Rep. Aris Aumentado, in an April 5 report by the Bohol Chronicle, said the proposed 22 km bridge  linking  the two provinces will be connected from Getafe town in Bohol and Cordova, Mactan in Cebu.

“I cannot say exactly when work on the project will begin. What I am sure of is that it will really economically help both provinces. This will seem to shorten the distance between the two and will ease travel,” Davide said.

Davide and Chatto discussed the proposed bridge during the recent Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting.

It was conceptualized during the term of the late Bohol governor Erico Aumentado who called it a “3-in-1” project.

The 22-km bridge linking Bohol and Cebu will also make possible the selling of water from Inabanga River to Mactan through a water pipe attached to the bridge, and at the same time provide cheaper power from Cebu to Bohol.

Rep. Aumentado said initial meetings were already conducted among three Philippine-based firms and a foreign investor who are interested to work on the project under a public private partnership.

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