P200B mega project will soon rise in SRP if …

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | January 18,2024 - 09:22 AM

P200B mega project will soon rise in SRP if ... In photo is a view of a portion of the South Road Properties.


CEBU CITY, Philippines – A “mega infrastructure project” worth over P200 billion is set to transform the landscape of the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City.

This is if a project of a private corporation that it proposed to the city government will be approved.

READ: ‘Rotonda’ soon to be constructed along SRP junction, F. Vestil Street

Firm proposes to build P200B mega project

The firm, Mandaraig Infrabuild Corporation (MIC) submitted its unsolicited proposal last August 2023.

In a report from Cebu City News and Information, Engineer Emmanuel Mandaraig, president of MIC, said that their unsolicited proposal would align with the city’s vision to be a Singapore-like Cebu City with Melbourne features.

He assured that the city government would not incur any expenses, as they had already secured overseas funding for their proposal.

READ: Rama unlikely to support proposal for another expressway, skyway in Cebu City

Blueprint for P200B mega project

During the press conference on January 16, the MIC presented a comprehensive project blueprint.

It said that the proposed project includes the construction of approximately 14 structures in the SRP. This encompasses the development of a government center building, which will also serve as the new Cebu City Hall within the SRP.

MIC further showed that they would also be constructing a new IT community in the SRP, along with executive buildings. The proposal also includes the installation of a monorail system and a cable car system.

READ: Three locations at SRP eyed for transfer of Cebu City Hall

Safety nets if P200B mega project fails

Meanwhile, Lawyer Collin Rosell, the city administrator, while considering the project being advantageous to the city, said that they would adopt “safety nets,” allowing themselves to maintain the upper hand in the situation.

Rosell said that this would be adopted if the project would not go according to plan.

“We just make and adopt a safety net, like, for example, three months to move. If, after three months, nothing will be moving, then the city will have an option: the safety net to withdraw or to allow some more. Initially, it has been discussed, and they are okay and fine with it, no problem,” Rosell said in an interview on Wednesday, January 17.

READ: 6 infra projects up for Marcos approval, says Balisacan

Firm stands out in current trend

According to the city administrator, Mandaraig, as a corporation, stands out in the current trend, acting not only as an investor but also as an organizer for other investors.

Rosell explained the emerging trend, where a group of organizers reaches out to funders and contractors, transcending the traditional contractor-investor dichotomy. 

Mandaraig, with its Filipino roots and resource-pulling experience, has attracted funders interested in collaborative, large-scale projects.

“Mandraig is Filipino na siya (Mandaraig is a Filipino). He has experience of pulling resources so naa na na silay mga (so they have funders) funder, they wanted to get a project from the city and they will pull all the resources base na siya sa Cebu (based in Cebu) but from Ilo-ilo na siya ang Mandaraig (but he is from Ilo-ilo) ,” he noted.

Rosell added, “But the point is, this administration man gud is inclusive and non-discriminating [so] everyone should contribute that’s why we are calling all.”

Financial intricacies scutinized

However, Rosell further stated that he went on scrutinizing the financial intricacies surrounding the project proposal during their presentation.

He even posed a question regarding the budget, seeking clarification on how funds would be generated if an entity were to construct for the city under the right arrangement, particularly through a joint venture for a government building.

“I asked them during the presentation because I [thought], they were not using a proper computation but they were able to explain it,” Rosell said.

Rosell expressed initial concerns about the computation methods, prompting MIC to outline their strategic approach which involved incorporating a mixed-use concept, where specific portions of the land, including proposed coffee shops, would be utilized to maximize property usage.

“The [development] will be mixed-use, and the city will be utilizing specific portions, maximizing and optimizing the use of property, particularly the land. Coffee shops are among what they are proposing for the city,” he said.

P200B mega project and gov’t center

Rosell also explained that since the city government had a budget allocation for the construction of the government center, if the project is finalized, the allocated funds would be spared and utilized for social services and other city expenses.

“In reality, what the (city) is boosting right now is that all investments will go to the city constituents, filling it with opportunities,” Rosell said.

The presenters further illustrated the long-term financial impact of their proposal. If awarded the project, they anticipate swift implementation through external funding, whether foreign or local. 

MIC proposal reviewed JVSC

Mandaraig Infrabuild Corporation (MIC) started preliminary discussions with Mayor Michael Rama to introduce their project proposal. Subsequently, a formal Letter of Intent was composed and directed to the mayor on January 27, 2023.

Following this initial step, MIC proceeded to formally submit their unsolicited proposal along with a preliminary draft of the joint venture agreement (JVA) to the City Government in August 2023.

Rosell said that the proposal was currently under the purview of the city’s Joint Venture-Selection Committee (JVSC). This committee is tasked with a comprehensive review of all pertinent documents related to the proposed project.

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TAGS: Mandaraig Infrabuild Corporation (MIC), P200 billion mega project, SRP

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