Magpale allows firm to continue managing CICC-A A +A
Saturday, March 2, 2013
DESPITE the Cebu International Convention Center's (CICC) financial straits, Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale extended Capitol's contract with the company that manages the facility.
Magpale said, though, that she is open to the idea of selling the CICC.
"For one, we don't really know how to run a convention center. A government cannot run
a convention center," she said.
Magpale made the decision to extend the contract of Philippine Exhibits and Themeparks Corp. (Petco), the firm managing the CICC, after meeting its president Jose Yulo last Thursday.
She said Yulo was able to explain why the electricity consumption of the CICC cost millions of pesos-P8.87 million in 2011 and P10.18 million in 2012.
Yulo blamed the centralized airconditioning system. He said that even if one room at the CICC is used, the airconditioning for the entire building has to be turned on.
He said a centralized aircon system was installed because the CICC was built for the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit in 2007.
Yulo proposed that separate airconditioning units be placed in function rooms and halls.
Yulo could not explain, though, why CICC got water that is more expensive than that of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District.
Magpale said the CICC management board will be the one to look into it.
But to extend Petco's contract, Magpale said, they will have to "reconstruct" or come up with a new document as they could not locate the one that the firm signed with the CICC management board.
Repair or sell
It was not known if Petco had a copy of the original contract with the board.
Magpale said she wants to repair the CICC and "save" it, but she is also open to selling it.
She said that if the facility was not built for conventions, it cannot attract the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) market.
"Wa sab tingali mopalit niana (No one would probably buy it) as they will have to talk to Mandaue City also," she said.
"It would earn more if it were a funeral parlor," said Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district).
Osmeña said he had always thought the CICC was overpriced and is not an ideal venue for conventions.
He said the facility competes with the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and the Sacred Heart Center.
"CICC is losing because it has done nothing but give competition to Waterfront and Sacred Heart Center," Osmeña told reporters during his regular Friday press conference yesterday.
Waterfront, he said, is a favorite venue for MICE events because it has rooms and restaurants. Sacred Heart Center, on the other hand, has small function rooms but it is close to the heart of the city.
CICC, Osmeña said, may be near a mall but only a few jeepneys pass by it.
Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, third district) said he is interested to hear Magpale's comment to Osmeña suggestion.
"I think it would be more interesting to ask Vice Gov. Magpale if she would dare to disagree with Tomas that the CICC be converted into a funeral parlor," Garcia said in a text message to Sun.Star Cebu.
Garcia is the brother of suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia. He will be facing Hilario Davide III, the Liberal Party's gubernatorial bet, in the May elections.
Davide's running mate is Magpale.
"At least now we know now what the Liberal Party's plans are for the CICC-to convert it into a funeral parlor. Because LP candidates would never disagree with Tomas," Congressman Garcia said. "I'm sure the plan to build a funeral parlor there will be taken into consideration by Mandaue City voters."
Magpale said she will convene the CICC management board on March 11 to discuss the issues surrounding the facility and also to appoint new board members to represent the
The acting governor said Petco officials tried to convince her to look beyond the monetary aspect and consider the benefits of the CICC.
"But when we talk of accounting, we count the money that goes back to the Provincial Government, among others," Magpale said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 02, 2013.