Council: Before selling SRP, check with us-A A +A
Monday, June 25, 2012
AN ORDINANCE that seeks to protect the 300-hectare South Road Properties (SRP) and its stakeholders from “unlawful and unauthorized” transactions was filed before the Cebu City Council.
This developed as Mayor Michael Rama issued an executive order (EO) forming an ad hoc committee whose functions include studying and recommending the disposition of some SRP lots.
The proposed ordinance, filed by Councilor Noel Wenceslao, provides that no person, employee or official of the City Government is authorized to sell, dispose, transfer or convey any lots in the SRP without prior approval from the City Council.
Wenceslao invoked Republic Act (RA) 3857 or the Revised Charter of the City, which provides that the power to authorize the sale or disposition of real property of City Hall lies solely with the council.
The ordinance also states that no one will be allowed to solicit bids for, or hold for public auction or bidding any properties at the SRP, as well as advertise or publish the sale, disposition, transfer or conveyance of the SRP lots without securing the council’s nod.
“This is to ensure that no such employee or official will advertise or claim authority to approve or push any project involving the SRP, which may be detrimental to existing investments and undertakings, causing then deterioration in the projected property values therein,” said Wenceslao.
He said the council also wants to make sure the SRP transactions are consistent with the local development plan.
City employees and officials are “absolutely prohibited” from purchasing directly or indirectly, whether individually or as a member of a firm, lots at the SRP and other property owned by the City, the draft states.
“Any violation of this shall constitute malfeasance in office and any officer or employee found guilty shall forfeit his city office or employment and shall be dealt with in accordance with law.”
For parties, investors or stakeholders who have plans to invest in the SRP, the proposed measure provides that they should submit unsolicited proposals for evaluation. These will be subject to the approval of the council and the Office of the Mayor as well.
Unauthorized transactions involving the lots at SRP will be null and void, the draft also states.
Rama has long wanted to sell SRP lots so the City can implement other projects.
However, the mayor’s plan doesn’t have the backing of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan’s (BOPK)-dominated council, as the majority wants the value of the property to double before selling.
FYI from mayor
The proposed measure of Wenceslao, who is a member of the BOPK, was filed during the council’s regular session last Wednesday.
Also on the agenda was the EO that Mayor Rama issued on June 8, which created the ad hoc committee for the management of the SRP. The council received a copy of the EO for their information and guidance.
The committee is composed of the mayor or his authorized representative, the city administrator, the city assessor, a representative from the Cebu Investment Promotions Center (which is the marketing arm of the SRP), City Hall’s consultant for property management, two councilors, and a representative from the private sector.
The EO provides that the ad hoc committee will form and recommend appropriate policies and management approaches in the marketing of the SRP.
It will also provide policy direction for the management and administration of SRP properties that have been identified for sale, in order to finance government projects and deliver service.
“The disposition of real property, especially at the SRP, is necessary in order to give back to the people of the city whose welfare and benefits have been suspended with the setting aside of funds of more than P500 million every year for the repayment of the loan,” the mayor said in his order.
He said he was “mindful that the said amount would have earlier or on time addressed the concerns and improved the lives of the constituents who are the collective owners of the SRP.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 25, 2012.