Cebu News

CH urged: Use SRP sale for development

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/FPL - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The former managing director of the now defunct Cebu Investment Promotions Center has criticized the Cebu City government for intending to use the proceeds of the sale of South Road Properties to pay off its loan in advance instead of using the money to develop the area to increase its value.

Joel Mari Yu said that Mayor Michael Rama should use the money to complete the project.

“The SRP is an unfinished project. There are many things nga kulang, like ang drainage wala pa mahuman, ang waterlines wala pa mahuman, ang pagparil pag-protect, arterial and secondary roads wala pa mahuman. Improve access roads, the money should be used to increase the value of SRP,” Yu said.

Yu, a known supporter of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan, has been managing director of CIPC for 20 years. CIPC was considered pre-eminent investment promotions unit in the country responsible for the entry of foreign direct investments in Cebu.

According to Yu, the city should utilize the P8.35 billion sale of SRP lots to reclaim the 60-hectare Pond A.

“What would I do with the P8.35 billion? I will not pay the loan. There is a 60-hectare Pond A there. I will use the money to fill up that Pond A and to sell land in that Pond A,” Yu said.

He said Pond A, if reclaimed, will give the city government additional P22 billion.  Yu said that the price of P38,000 per square meter given by the city government to the buyers of the 45.2 hectares recently sold was very cheap. He cited comparative rates between the SRP lots and that of the It Park and Cebu Business Park.

According to Yu, the price at IT Park is between P100,000 to P120,000 per square meter while at the Cebu Business Park is at P120,000 to P150,000 per square meter.

“I would think that down the road, you are looking SRP, and there is no way you cannot compare it with the IT Park and Cebu Business Park. In fact, in many ways, it is superior to the IT Park and the Cebu Business Park. When you look at it, the SRP is really the economic future for Cebu,” he said.

“Lisod sad ibaligya sa P100,000, sobra ra sad ang P38,000. We could have demanded P50,000 or P60,000. But, P38,000 was too low,” he added.

The city government offered P20,000 per square meter as floor price of the 45.2-hectare lot at SRP last year but was sold during public bidding at P38,000 per square meter.

Rama questioned Yu’s appearance to the public since the transaction was already done.

“Nganong karon pa man manulti? Too late the hero. They should have been opening their mouths before. If they will be opening their mouth now, it will only be suspect for political issue. Who is Joel Yu? Is he the same friend of my opponent? Come on!” Rama said.

Yu admitted that it was former mayor Tomas Osmeña who asked him to explain the “truth” behind the SRP.

“Nganong motingog man ko nga wala naman ko’y labot? The only reason I’m doing it now because Tommy asked me to write my thoughts on this. I gave it to him and he asked me to do a favor by explaining what I wrote.  I admit, wala na ko’y labot,” Yu said.

Rama has been open to the public of his intention to prepay the P2.3 billion outstanding balance of the SRP loan to avoid paying more interest.

Yu said the city government could appeal before the Department of Finance to reduce the guarantee fee it pays if the city is bleeding a lot in the payment of the loan.

“When you say the city is bleeding a lot in the payment of the loan, there is two components why the loan is expensive. Part of that is the guarantee fee we pay to the national government. Why not we negotiate with the DOF to reduce the guarantee fee because it is very clear now that SRP is not a credit risk? He (Rama) could have done that,” Yu said. (FREEMAN)


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