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Mayor Cortes denies Mandaue clock tower costs P44M

By: Mary Rose Sagarino - CDN Digital Correspondent | June 25,2024 - 07:47 PM

clock tower

CDN File Photo

MANDAUE CITY, Philippines — Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes has denied allegations that the clock tower constructed at the Heritage Plaza beside the Mandaue City Hall cost P44 million.

During the “Storya Ta! A Move to Good Governance and Transparency” forum with the media on Tuesday, June 25, Cortes said that the city would never allocate P44 million just for a clock tower.

He clarified that the P44 million is the total allocation for the city’s beautification program, Public Parks, Open and Green Spaces (PPOGS).

“Modeny gyud ko ana, not true, wala ko kahibaw diin sila anang P44 million, In fact, I think sa whole open spaces nato kato ako giingun sa Pajara Park, sa mga flyovers. I cannot imagine kanang P44 million nga clock tower,” said Cortes.

City Administrator Lawyer Jamaal James Calipayan explained that the P44 million was the overall allocation for the beautification project over ten years, with additional budget allocated every subsequent year.

“Never will you find in any of our documents, or in any of the procurements. Abli man ang PhilGEPS (Phillipine Government Electronic Procurement System) nga naa tay gi-bid out or giprocure nga clock tower worth P44 million. Kana gikan ra gyud na sa…ambot kinsa kahay nag-imagine anang P44 million, ilaha ra gyud nang gilabay nga numero para dako tan-awon,” said Calipayan.

City Budget Officer Atty. Giovanni Tianero emphasized that the city did not spend any amount on the clock tower since it was still a prototype.

A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process, used in various contexts including design, electronics, and software programming.

“There’s no budget or even payment for a P44 million clock tower. As regards the clock tower I was informed by Atty. Jamaal that it was still a prototype. Basically, wala tay gasto pa ana. It is going to be a basis later on for an offer for a certain conditions for a work of art, mahulog nga nagbase ana niya,” said Tianero.

Archt. Marlo Ocleasa, head of the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), said that developing open spaces indicates the city’s beauty and improves community health and activity.

Based on the CPDO’s presentation regarding the redevelopment of the heritage park, the new design enhances openness and visibility for pedestrians, making it a destination. It was found that the previous fountain development blocked the view of the Presidencia from outside and the view of the National Shrine of St. Joseph from inside.

“Redevelopment of Presidencia Heritage Plaza (is) landmark that interweaves the city’s past into the present, and the future,” part of the presentation shows.

Ocleasa added that the development and the prototype clock tower are still in phase 1, with more improvements to come, such as art installations and cultural identity features of Mandaue.

Here are the other priority programs and actions related to parks and open spaces stated in the Mandaue City Comprehensive Land Use Plan:

  • Green corridors along major waterways
  • Buffer zones along coastal areas
  • Parks in every Planned Unit Development
  • “Skypark or aerial greenway” over Soriano Avenue to connect the proposed site for City Hall to the city core
  • Greening in old establishments (20% open space shall be devited for greening)
  • All roofdecks shall provide 20 % for greening, landscaping, or urban farming

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TAGS: Jonas Cortes, Mandaue City

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