Mayor wants to sell idle city gov’t lots for P719 million

Posted on October 20, 2012


IF he could have his way in 2013, Mayor Michael Rama would sell city government lots worth over P700 million to fund part of his proposed annual budget.

Rama wants to sell the vacant 3.3-hectare Block 27 in the North Reclamation Area which has a market value of P20,000 per square meter.

Another is a 2,356 square meter lot near the main entrance of the Waterfront Hotel in barangay Lahug with a market value of P25,000 per square meter.

Block 27 was the same parcel of land eyed by political rival Rep. Tomas Osmeña for exchange with province-owned lots in Cebu City occupied by about 5,000 households but the land swap deal collapsed in 2007.

City Hall hopes to earn P660 million for Block 27 and P58.9 million for the Lahug property for additional revenue of P718.9 million for the city.

However, Congressman Osmeña said this just goes to show that Mayor Rama “does not care whatever will happen to the present lot occupants,” most of whom are urban poor households.

Osmeña said he would not mind if Rama sells the Lahug property as long as he can convince the national government to acquire a lot for the relocation of the Banawa Elementary School which occupies part of the property.

Councilor Alvin Dizon, head of the council’s housing committee and proponent of a resolution seeking the revival of the proposed lot swap with the Capitol, said Mayor Rama will be answerable to the affected families if he pushes through with the planned sale.

Dizon said the mayor’s plan does not come as a surprise because Rama long opposed the City Hall – l Capitol lot swap deal even when it was first proposed when he was vice mayor.

Mayor Rama said did not also sign the resolution which the City Council passed in August asking the mayor to revive lot swap negotiations with Capitol.

“The only remedy that the people has now is to change the mayor (in the coming election),” he said. /Doris C. Bongcac, Chief of Reporters with Correspondent Edison Delos Angeles

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