Fuente stakeholders meet, agree-A A +A
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
THE rehabilitation of Fuente Osmeña, particularly the cracks on the fountain, will finally be repaired two years after these were discovered.
This, after Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama finally had a talk with representatives of the Cebu Provincial Government, including the lawyers of businessman Michel Lhuillier.
“There is a clear position now, the Province is okay,” said Rama on the rehabilitation of Fuente, “
They did not talk about the possible settlement of the case, though, which means that the case filed by Capitol to recover ownership of the historical landmark will continue.
Rama said this was not touched as Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale might want things handled differently, but that the case will not deter improvements of Fuente Osmeña.
Rama also said the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Lhuilliers will be amended.
If the Lhuilliers are not okay with the amendment, then the Cebu City Government will
handle the Fuente Osmeña rehabilitation.
The mayor did not specify what in the MOA he wants to amend, but he mentioned that he does not want an agreement that would take 25 years. The amendment will take a week.
The Lhuillier family committed to undergo the P13-million rehabilitation of Fuente Osmeña during the landmark’s 100th anniversary last year.
“There are just things that need to be settled, there might be an oversight,” said Rama.
The annual Lhuillier Christmas tree will not be affected as this has been done even before the MOA was crafted.
There was also no talk about co-management of Fuente Osmeña. This was discussed during the time of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia (suspended by the Office of the President last December), but the co-management deal never took off.
He believes that he and Magpale has the same view on Fuente Osmeña, that it is owned by all Cebuanos.
While ownership of Cebu City Zoo was not tackled, Rama mentioned that he is also hoping that the Province will donate the zoo to Cebu City.
The zoo was another property subject to a recovery suit by Capitol.
The separate legal cases on ownership of Fuente Osmeña and the zoo were filed in 2007 at the height of the disagreement between the Cebu City Government and Provincial Government when the chief executives were Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) and Garcia, respectively.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 19, 2013.