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Cortes gets go signal on lease of lot to IPI

CEBU, Philippines -  The Mandaue City Council passed a resolution adopting a committee report, which authorizes Mayor Jonas Cortes to enter into an agreement with International Pharmaceutical Incorporated over the latter’s intent to rent a foreshore property owned by the city in Barangay Opao.

 But City Councilor Victor Biaño, author of the resolution, said the recommended rental rate of P40,000 per annum will be subject to adjustment and recommended that it be raised to P50,000 per annum.

 IPI owner Pio Castillo earlier sent a letter to the Council expressing the company’s willingness to match any offer made by other firms.

 Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna, nevertheless, said he is yet to see the letter from IPI, as it reportedly did not reach his office.

 During the Council’s regular session last Tuesday, opposition councilor Editha Cabahug objected to adopt the report of Biaño’s committee, the Committee on Laws, owing to another committee report from her committee, the Committee of Planning and Socialized Housing, which also authorized Cortes to negotiate with another firm, the Total Bulk Corporation, for the lease of the foreshore land.

 The report of the Committee on Planning and Socialized Housing was approved by the Council in its February 2 session.

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 In her report, Cabahug made a comparison between the lease proposals of Total Bulk and IPI. She said Total Bulk was offering an annual lease of P32,952 as compared to Castillo’s P24,960.

 Cabahug also said that Castillo’s record of complying with its obligations to the city allegedly “has been found wanting,” as IPI allegedly failed to develop Lot 2, which is adjacent to lot 3,4,5 as provided under the contract with the city government on November 2003 .

 But City Councilor Beethoven Andaya called Cabahug’s committee report as erroneous, as it failed to report the alleged glaring violations of Total Bulk, specifically the firm’s unpaid account to the city.

 Andaya found out that Total Bulk still reportedly owes the city six years of unpaid lease amounting to P 57,690.

 Biaño, for his part, maintained it is his committee and not Cabahug’s that is responsible of scrutinizing the lease proposals.

 Five councilors moved to approve Biaño’s resolution while four voted against it.

 Those who voted to adopt the resolution were administration allies Beethoven Andaya, Diosdado Suico, Jimmy Lumapas, Jefferson Ceniza, and Biaño himself. Those who opposed it were opposition councilors Cabahug, Noeleen Borbajo, Emiliano Rosal and Gian Gubalani. - Flor Z. Perolina/JMO (THE FREEMAN)

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