SC wants bigger SRP lot

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/RHM (The Freeman) - February 15, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City government is now studying the Supreme Court’s request to exchange its City Hall-donated property at the South Road Properties with a bigger lot in the area to accommodate a judiciary complex where all courts will be housed.

In a draft Deed of Donation, the Supreme Court expressed its wish to have a 1.5-hectare area in the 10-hectare City Government Center at the SRP located near where the Filinvest Land Inc. property is.

Originally, the city government donated a 7,123-square-meter lot to the SC for the establishment of a Court of Appeals-Cebu Station building after its edifice at the Capitol grounds was damaged the 2013 earthquake.

“There is a need to build a new and iconic Hall of Justice in Cebu City, which is envisioned to be a part of a Judiciary Complex that will house all the courts in Cebu City, including the trial courts and the Court of Appeals, and include a hearing room for the Sandiganbayan and offices for the Supreme Court,” read the draft Deed of Donation.

As stated in the draft, the city government will undertake the geodetic and other technical surveys to determine the precise boundaries of the government center lot.

“The City of Cebu agrees to release the Supreme Court from its undertaking to develop a 15-meter wide concrete road with drainage and sidewalk fronting the SRP lot, and other undertakings under the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) dated 28 April 2010,” it added.

In October 2013, the magnitude 7.2 earthquake weakened the structural integrity of the Marcelo Fernan Hall of Justice at the Capitol.

After an inspection, the Cebu City Office of the Building Official declared the structure unsafe for occupancy. This prompted other courts to transfer to other temporary facilities.

SRP Management Office Chief Roberto Varquez said he referred the proposed Deed of Donation to the City Legal Office for review and issuance of a legal opinion.

He said Mayor Michael Rama has initially agreed to the idea of exchanging the donated 7,123-square-meter area with the requested 1.5-hectare lot.

Varquez, though, said that even with the possible donation, the city could still push through with the establishment of a complex which would house the offices of government agencies.

In January 2015, Rama had expressed his intention to transfer City Hall to the SRP in an area to be called as Government Complex Center. He said the current City Hall building will be converted into a museum. The plan, though, has not materialized yet.  (FREEMAN)



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