Rama to decide on Gwen’s 93-1 proposal

·2 min read

IT WILL be up to Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama if the City will accept Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s proposal to give up a 2.5-hectare lot at the South Road Properties (SRP) in order for the 93-1 land swap to push through.

This was what Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia said after he met with the governor, who is his aunt, during a meeting on the 93-1 negotiations on Thursday, July 7, 2022.

The governor is seeking to exchange the controversial 93-1 properties with the 2.5-hectare lot at the SRP so she can convert it into an integrated bus terminal.

According to the vice mayor, the proposal for an integrated bus terminal at the SRP first surfaced in 2019 when then mayor Edgardo Labella directed him to lead the negotiations with the Provincial Government.

However, the vice mayor said the proposal never materialized as no agreements were made between the City and the Province.

“When you are talking of that property nga gusto ni Tita Gwen nga himuon nga integrated terminal, wala pa man gyud na butang sa papel, so we cannot say for sure kung ma apil siya,” the vice mayor added.

The SRP lot is one of the proposed properties that will be exchanged for the Province-owned properties situated inside Cebu City that are covered by Provincial Ordinance 93-1.

The governor is proposing to construct at the SRP not only a bus terminal but also a sea ferry terminal.

Land valuation

During their meeting with the governor, Garcia brought with him Cebu City Councilor Noel Wenceslao, chairman of the committee on budget and finance, and Councilor Rey Gealon, who chairs the committee on laws.

According to the vice mayor, the only aspect hampering the deal’s speedy conclusion is the agreement of both local government units (LGUs) on the appraisal of the 93-1 properties.

The vice mayor said they will meet again next week with the provincial assessors to discuss the valuation. He hopes that they will “reach a middle ground” during their next meeting.

He reasoned that coming up with a unified value is difficult since zoning appraisals are different per LGU and the one being used by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

To recall, the 93-1 land swap deal was previously signed by then Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña and then Cebu governor and now Vice Gov. Hilario “Junjun” Davide III in August 2018, but the deal was voided after the Commission on Audit found that the two LGUs entered into it without prior consent from state auditors.

After Labella defeated Osmeña during the May 2019 elections, the deed of donation and acceptance of the properties involved in the deal were not implemented due to legal issues.

Around 5,000 families have been occupying the controversial 93-1 lots in 11 Cebu City barangays for more than 30 years already.

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