‘BEST GIFT TO THE CITY’

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita July 02,2015 - 12:09 AM
UPBEAT. The Cebu City Council led by their presiding officer Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella (5th from left, top row) with Mayor Michael Rama  (center), Msgr. Boy Alesna (2nd from left, top row) and businessman Bunny Pages (to Alesna’s right) smile for posterity with some doing their best wacky pose during a group shot of their third inaugural session. (CDN/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

UPBEAT. The Cebu City Council led by their presiding officer Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella (5th from left, top row) with Mayor Michael Rama (center), Msgr. Boy Alesna (2nd from left, top row) and businessman Bunny Pages (to Alesna’s right) smile for posterity with some doing their best wacky pose during a group shot of their third inaugural session.
(CDN/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Rama thanks council’s help for SRP lots sale

With the highest bidders for two prime lots in the South Road Properties (SRP) already identified, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama was thankful to the City Council for helping give “the best gift” to the people of Cebu City.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) concluded the bidding of the SRP that brought us additional money worth P16.7 billion. And today, we must be thanking Sr. Sto. Niño for the best gift that we have given to the people of Cebu City. And that is for the people of the City of Cebu,” he said in his speech inside the session hall yesterday afternoon.

Last Tuesday, the consortium of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and Ayala Land, Inc. submitted the highest bid of about P10 billion for 26-hectare Lot No. 8-B-1, where the Pedro Calungsod templete stands.

Filinvest Land, Inc. submitted the highest bid of P6.7 billion for Lots 7 and 17 to complement its ongoing City di Mare project.

Rama gave a speech in yesterday’s City Council inaugural session after being invited to speak during the event.

Glimpse

Rama was fetched by Councilors Phillip Zafra, Lea Japson and Nida Cabrera from his office and they headed to the session hall in the fourth floor of the legislative building in City Hall.

The mayor said his 12-minute speech yesterday was a “glimpse” of his upcoming State of the City Address (SOCA) this Saturday, July 4.

In his speech, Rama said he will pursue his plan to make the city sustainable by “continuing to restore what ought to be restored” and remain steadfast in promoting education and continuing the city’s partnership with the private sector.

“We will continue to espouse proactiveness in our approach to preparedness for whatever contingencies and unforeseen events that may occur. What cannot be restored, be approximately replaced (in terms of the environment),” Rama said.

In terms of development, Rama said his administration will continue to “act local, but think global” and bring the world closer to Cebu City through establishing international ties.

Beneficial

“This administration will continue to recognize and give importance to cooperation and collaboration between the public and private sectors, finding a common ground that will be beneficial for all, not to my pocket, not to anyone’s pocket, but to the people’s welfare,” he said.

The mayor said growth and development will be promoted and not hindered.

He said the city should also be mindful of its history and role in preserving Cebuano culture.

Rama also said the city government should push for features, spots and sceneries to promote Cebu City.

“And then let all be aware and claim, spread it anywhere you go. Tell them to come to Cebu City where life is worth living for,” he said.

Out of town

The mayor will deliver his address at the Plaza Independencia. After his speech, Rama personally invited the City Council to attend the July 4 event.

In separate interviews, some councilors said they can’t attend the mayor’s SOCA.

Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos, who is being courted by the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK), said she will be out of town on Saturday starting at 2pm.

“I regret to inform all that I cannot attend the SOCA this coming Saturday because I will be out of town. I never thought that the SOCA will be separated on this occasion. In all honesty, I thought that the SOCA will be today,” she said.

She said she only learned about the schedule last Tuesday.

For the budget

Councilor Sisinio Andales said he won’t attend because he already has an idea of Rama’s speech.

He said he is happy for the city since it raised more funds from the bidding of the SRP lots.

Councilor Margot Osmeña also said she doesn’t think she’ll attend the SOCA since she already heard part of it.

“I have no reaction. I listened. I hope he means what he says,” she said.

As for the sale of the SRP lots, she asked what the city government would do if it didn’t have the SRP to sell.

“So we have the money and we have the budget this year of P13.4 billion. Manigurado lang ta nga ang kwarta nga atong madawat (we have to make sure that the money that we will receive), we will use it for the budget and the programs intended that was there and supposed to be funded by that,” she said.

Invest

“It’s good to have funds and I’m sure everybody’s happy especially the employees,” she added.

City Hall employees will be expecting a month’s worth of their salaries as bonus in the next few weeks.

She said though that the city can’t just always sell properties to fund its projects since it will struggle if it won’t have anything to sell anymore.

Osmeña suggested that the funds be invested so there are also returns.

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TAGS: ‘BEST GIFT TO THE CITY’, “the best gift”, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Cebu Daily News, city council, City di Mare project, Councilors Phillip Zafra, Lea Japson, Nida Cabrera, South Road Properties, Sr. Sto. Nino, SRP

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