Toledo plans to borrow P1.3B
And so far, the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) sees no reason to object. The Toledo City Government plans to borrow P1.3 billion to pay for some infrastructure projects, including an expansion of port facilities, an 11-hectare reclamation venture, a coliseum, and a public market. “But the (port expansion) project will stop for one year if they will suspend me,” Mayor Sonny Osmeña tells radio DyAB in an interview.
The Cebu Provincial Board approved Toledo City’s plan to borrow P1.38 billion to finance various projects in the latter’s Annual Investment Plan.
According to the city ordinance submitted to the board, P500 million is allocated to port facilities, including an 11-hectare reclamation project. The P600 million is for the construction of a coliseum, P100 million for a Senior Citizens’ building, and P180 million for a public market.
The committee on budget and appropriations did not object to the proposed borrowing as long it complies with the Local Government Code of 1991.
It also set some conditions, such as the appropriation for debt-servicing must not exceed 20 percent of the City’s regular income, among others.
In an interview with radio dyAB, Mayor Sonny Osmeña said the City Council already approved the reclamation project, which will be adjacent to the port and is now under review by the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA).
Last Aug. 1, Toledo and the PRA signed a memorandum of understanding.
PRA General Manager Janilo Rubiata said the City is required to submit a feasibility study, an environmental impact study, an envi- ronmental compliance certificate, a geo-hazard study, and detailed engineering.
“But the project will stop for one year if they will suspend me within that period,” Sonny told dyAB radio.
Sonny was ordered suspended for one year after the ombudsman found him guilty of grave abuse of authority for refusing to release the quarterly real property tax shares of Barangay Daanglungsod.
He is also set to face trial before the Sandiganbayan after the ombudsman found probable cause to charge him with six counts of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he has no sympathy for what his cousin Sonny is going through.
Tomas said the latter is reason the city’s circumferential road never materialized.
The project was supposed to connect Barangays Labangon, Tisa, Guadalupe, Lahug and Banilad to A.S. Fortuna St. in Mandaue City.
In 1995, the project would have cost P5 billion.
Tomas had said that not only did Sonny oppose the project, he also filed cases and went to Japan to halt the implementation of the road work.
Tomas said the circumferential road was supposed to be implemented along with the Cebu South Coastal Road, viaduct and the South Road Properties.