“My position is very clear. Let’s not project destruction. Let’s not project spoiler. Let’s be working out for curing…curative. Let’s not be pursuing nullity because there is always such thing as curative,” he said.
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Rama backs P18 billion project
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - May 16, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City vice mayor-elect Michael Rama wants the P18 billion integrated resorts and casino project on Kawit Island at the South Road Properties to continue despite attempts by his allies in the City Council to stop it.

Rama, however, said they have not discussed it yet with the other members of Partido Barug-PDP Laban.

“My position is very clear. Let’s not project destruction. Let’s not project spoiler. Let’s be working out for curing…curative. Let’s not be pursuing nullity because there is always such thing as curative,” he said.

Rama believes that instead of scrapping the multibillion project, the incoming administration of mayor-elect Edgardo Labella should review the terms of reference, joint venture agreement, and other documents with the proponent, Universal Hotels and Resorts, Inc.

Rama said the new administration should call for a meeting with the proponent to discuss what went wrong, what had happened, and what should be done to “cure” the provisions of the agreement to address the general welfare.

He said that nullifying projects will affect the economy of the city and tarnish the government’s image before the business community. Rama’s allies in the City Council earlier filed two separate cases before the courts to stop the P18 billion project.

The opposition to the project believes that the UHRI does not have the technical capacity to undertake the project provided under the Joint Venture Ordinance; UHRI does not have the financial capacity to undertake the project prescribed under the same ordinance; and City Council did not authorize outgoing City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to sign the agreement with UHRI officials;.

They sought before the court the declaration of nullity of the two resolutions with prayer for the issuance of temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. Both cases were dismissed by the court.

UHRI plans to construct a commercial or shopping center, three hotels, integrated resort facility, convention center, performing arts theater, themed-park and iconic public art, parking lot, and the casino on the Kawit Island at SRP.

Aside from the P18 billion project, Rama will push for the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit Project, Light Rail Transit project, construction of the Cebu City Medical Center, and the regulation of street parties during Sinulog celebrations.

Rama said he was part of the conceptualization of the BRT project which is one of the few projects that he and Osmeña agree with. As for LRT and infrastructure, he said the project should push through for as long as it would not destroy the historical landmark of the city.

Rama said he will ask the executive department to proceed and let the consortium of the 45-hectare lot sale at SRP almost four years ago to move forward and continue the project.

Osmeña has questioned the P16 billion lot sale during Rama’s administration claiming that the transaction was defective.

Rama, who was mayor when the lots were sold to giant developers, stood firm that there was nothing wrong with the sale. —  FPL (FREEMAN)

MICHAEL RAMA
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