Cebu News

Council questions Kasadya sa SRP partnership

Kristine B. Quintas - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Members of the Cebu City Council allied with Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) questioned the legality of the partnership between the city government and the Kasadya sa SRP stall owners.

The stall owners, while being required to apply for permits in order to operate, have no contract with the city government. 

But being a revenue-driven activity, the Kasadya sa SRP needs a contract, according to Councilors Noel Wenceslao and Margarita Osmeña.

“The property is owned by the city government and now being used by the private enterprises, so there should be a contract knowing that it is fund or income generated,” said Osmeña, the council’s majority floor leader.

Councilor Gerardo Carillo said the council cannot allow such anomaly in the government, adding “they have to follow rules for transparency and accountability.”

During the council’s budget hearing yesterday, city treasurer Diwa Cuevas said she received at least four complaints from Kasadya stall owners that the United Multisectoral Coordinating Council for Cebu City (UMC-4) had collected P12,000 from them for “reservation and registration” of stalls.

Cuevas said he called UMC-4 project director Jonie Chan on the complaints, one of which from a relative of Councilor Nestor Archival.

But Chan, according to Cuevas, said he had no knowledge about it.

Cuevas, who claimed the complainants visited her office on Friday, said the UMC-4 cannot collect money from the stall owners because there was no prior agreement with the city government.

The stall owners were required to acquire special permits from the Office of the City Treasurer for them to operate but Cuevas refused to release permits due to the issue.

“Giingnan nako ang UMC-4 nga iuli ang kwarta for me to issue special permit. Kay wala man gi-require ang stall owners mohatag kwarta, donation lamang for Kasadya,” Cuevas said.

Mayor Michael Rama said the UMC-4, aside from being a multisectoral group, is also a privately-driven organization which may operate autonomously.

“We have to give the private sectors our trust and confidence, kung naa may nangwarta sulbaron,” Rama said, adding that he will call the attention of the involved parties.

Cuevas said the money was then given back to the stall owners provided with the return receipt, which prompted the issuance of the special permits.

Cuevas said she was able to issue permits for firecrackers but they have yet to issue permits for the ready-to-wear items and food stalls.

She said they were able to collect over P700,000 for the special permits and arcabala.

There are 44 firecrackers stalls, 10 RTW or market-market stalls, 30 food stalls and three rides.

City attorney Jerone Castillo promised to the council that he will immediately look into the issue.

Kasadya sa SRP, now on its third year, started on December 6 and will last until February 24, 2014, the city’ charter day celebration.

Meanwhile, Wenceslao questioned the legality of the national road’s closure for the “night market.”

But Rama said: “It has been there long time ago, ngano karon pa man sila mo-question.” -/LPM (FREEMAN)













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