Toledo plans to bor­row P1.3B

Sun.Star Cebu - - FRONT PAGE - ELIAS O. BAQUERO & RAZEL V. CUIZON / Re­porters @razel­cuizon

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.

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