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Cebu News

DILG view sought on SB1 deferment

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – Cebu City government's executive department has sought the legal opinion of the Department of Interior and Local Government on the propriety of the act of the members of the council in deferring the P2.8-billion Supplemental Budget-1.

In a November 13 letter to the DILG, City Administrator Dr. Lucelle Mercado said the public bidding conducted by the city government for the sale of the 45.2 hectare-lot at the South Road Properties, which is in question under Regional Trial Court, is "regular."

"Armed with the foregoing factual and legal bases, this Office humbly requests the Department of Interior and Local Government (Cebu City Division) to render a legal opinion on whether or not the Cebu City Sangguniang Panlungsod is justified in shelving deliberations on the SB No.1 under the circumstances," she said.

Mercado's letter is addressed to DILG City Director Atty. Danilo Almendras.

The executive department wanted to know whether or not the "apparent inaction" of the members of the council on the additional budget of the year is proper or not, said Mercado.

The P2.8-billion Supplemental Budget-1 contains the P2.3 billion prepayment of the SRP loan, P87 million garbage tipping fee, and P77-million productivity enhancement incentive for the employees, among others.

The Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan-dominated council has rejected for five times the move of the minority bloc to lift the suspension of the deliberation of the SB-1.

BOPK councilors will not approve the additional budget until the court resolves the civil case filed against the members of the council.

A taxpayer, Romulo Torres asked the court to stop the city government from using the proceeds from the sale of lots at SRP. The city government has collected over P8.3 billion from its sale from developers SM Prime Holdings, Inc., Ayala Land-Cebu Holdings Inc, and Filinvest Land Inc.

In her letter, Mercado apprised Almendras on the "facts" behind the issue.

She said that on July 18, 2012, the council passed City Ordinance 2332 which one provision states that "investors or stakeholders may submit proposals for study and evaluation of the merits and benefits of such proposal."

Section 3 of the ordinance states that "absent of a specific prior approval from the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Cebu, no person, employee or official of the City of Cebu, including without limitation the Mayor of the City of Cebu and/or the Bids and Awards Committee is authorized to: (a) sell, dispose, transfer or otherwise convey any of the properties in the SRP; (b) advertise or publish for sale, disposal, transfer or other conveyance; (c) invite for public bidding, negotiated sale or other mode of sale, disposal, transfer or conveyance…."

With this provision, Mercado said the council passed a resolution authorizing Mayor Michael Rama to negotiate and dispose lots at SRP through public bidding.

She said that with this, the executive department has already anticipated that it could dispose the lots at SRP last year so that P4.5 billion of the SRP proceeds was identified as one of the sources of fund for this year's budget. —/NSA (FREEMAN)

AYALA LAND-CEBU HOLDINGS INC

BANDO OSME

BIDS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE

CEBU

CEBU CITY

CEBU CITY DIVISION

CITY

MERCADO

QUOT

SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET

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