Mandaue to buy CICC from Province
The Mandaue City government has reaffirmed its desire to buy the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) from the Cebu Provincial government.
“We affirm the plan of Mayor Jonas Cortes and Gov. Hilario Davide III for the City of Mandaue to purchase the building,” said Mandaue City Vice Mayor-elect Carlo Fortuna.
During the 888 News Forum, Fortuna revealed that the matter of the purchase of the CICC building was informally discussed by Governor Davide, outgoing Mandaue City Mayor Cortes, incoming Mayor Luigi Quisumbing and himself, a week after the elections.
All of them are members of the Liberal Party.
The city government first expressed interest in buying the property in 2014, but initial talks did not prosper.
Fortuna said the city government wanted to convert the CICC into an exhibition center for local products. Part of the building will also be for the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
With a budget of P2.7 billion this year, Fortuna said they would be able to buy the property without getting a loan.
“Within six months, we might be able to buy the property already,” said Fortuna.
Based on earlier negotiations between the two parties, the city government initially intended to buy the structure for P200 million.
While the CICC stands on a lot owned by the city government, the structure is a property of the Capitol.
“The plans are already in place. We will pursue the purchase of the structure. At least by then, everything will be owned by the city,” said Fortuna.
In the middle of 2015, the provincial government and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had talked about turning the CICC into a Center for Industry and Trade Exposition (CITEX) with the latter spending for the project.
Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III expressed interest in the property during a Labor Day visit last year, where MCCI representatives asked him for space to display local furniture products.
The Capitol estimated the project to cost P296.5 million and submitted a proposal to Malacañang in November 2015.
Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera said they still haven’t received feedback from the national government regarding the matter.
The P800-million edifice was built in time for the 12th Asean Summit in 2007 during the tenure of former governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
The structure was damaged by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake and Supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013 and was declared unfit for occupancy.
At present, the CICC grounds are being used as an evacuation center for victims of a fire that hit two barangays in Mandaue City earlier this year.
The CICC is the subject of a graft case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against former governor Garcia and 11 other Capitol officials.
Believing it to be marred with corruption, Governor Davide vowed in 2013 never to spend a single centavo from Capitol coffers on the CICC.
“Right now, we will have to wait until the newly elected officials resume formal discussions,” Natera told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview.
Governor Davide is still on vacation leave in Osaka, Japan but will report again by Monday next week.
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