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Special account for SRP income sought

CEBU, Philippines – The city council is set to discuss today the proposal to create a special account where all the income of the South Road Properties shall be deposited and shall be used solely for purposes involving the SRP.

Councilor Jose Daluz III will propose this to the council during their regular session.

The creation of a special account would mean that all the income of the SRP will only be used for the improvement and projects for the SRP, including the payment of the city's loan to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation from whom the city borrowed for its construction.

Daluz said that SRP is the city's biggest economic enterprise and will be the city's central business district a few years from now.

"Most of the money goes to the special account which can be spent for improving the SRP. So self-sustaining na s'ya ba. Makabayad ta sa loan, naa sad ta'y gamay'ng kwarta. And ma-monitor nato ang iyang income," Daluz said.

Daluz said that at present, the income of the SRP is used in other priority projects which leaves only a little share for the further development of the property.

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Just like the P100 million scholarship program of the former mayor Tomas Osmeña who is congressman of the city's south district.

Osmeña gets the funding for the Cebu City's P10,000 scholarship assistance for public high school graduates from the income of the SRP this year, which includes more than P400 million in payment from SM Prime Holdings and about P342 million from the Filinvest Land Inc.

Daluz said that the fund for scholarship program next year can now be sourced from the general fund which must be available for additional appropriations since it is no longer subsidizing the payment for the SRP loan.

"For the past years since 2005, we are getting the money to pay for our loan from the general fund. Karon, ang income sa SRP naman atong ibayad, so the general fund must be free now. Remember that in our Supplemental Budget No. 3, we got the P400 million for our loan payment this year from the income sa SRP," Daluz said.

Since the city is no longer paying for the SRP loan, the general fund shall be free of P700 million to P800 million which Mayor Michael Rama said may be used for other projects.

For the next four to five years, the SRP shall have an income of over P765 million a year. This shall comprise the P360 million annual payment of FLI, over P400 million annual payment of SM and the P5 million lease payment of Bigfoot.

Daluz said that the city will also have an additional income from real property taxes next year since FLI and SM will start paying their real property for their purchased lots at the SRP.

Daluz said that the city government can get a portion of the income of the SRP for the general fund but most of it must be put in the special account. (THE FREEMAN)

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