FOLLOWING the plan of a giant firm to invest P18 billion on a development at the South Road Properties (SRP), Cebu City Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera said the City Government should review first the agreement it entered into with the Department of Health (DOH) 7 on the utilization of Kawit Island.
In a news conference yesterday, Pesquera said that the National Government still owns the property and has only authorized the City to manage it.
In 2007, the City and DOH 7 signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) covering the donation of a 20,000-square-meter lot at the SRP to the latter and transferring the administration of Kawit Island to the local government unit.
“We have to review the MOA to see if we will not violate the provisions there,” said Pesquera.
She said that the City should review if there is a specific provisions in the MOA stating what kind of developments are allowed in the island.
JG Summit Holdings wants to lease and develop the island into a commercial leisure complex.
Asked about the matter, DOH 7 Director Jaime Bernadas said that their ownership of the island was already waived after they signed the MOA with the City.
“There is no more Kawit Island now because it was already integrated as part of the SRP. I think the City is allowed to do whatever they plan to do with the property,” he told SunStar Cebu.
The 39,854-square-meter Kawit Island was originally reserved for quarantine services and maritime hospital of DOH by virtue of Executive Order 43 dated Oct. 25, 1904, but was later integrated into the 300-hectare SRP.
Sought for comment, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said that the City will comply with the necessary requirements once the deal will be finalized.
Instead of criticizing the proposal, the mayor said Team Rama should justify why the terms of reference for the sale of 45.2-hectare SRP lot in 2015 was not submitted to the ouncil.
Aside from reviewing the MOA, Pesquera said the mayor should make sure that the existing buildings in the island, which includes the Sugbu Building, will be transferred once the deal with JG Summit pushes through.
Pesquera recalled that when JG Summit bought the lot where the Robinsons Galleria is now located, several city offices were just demolished. (RVC)