P5.4-M aid won't be released to CIPC after resignations-A A +A
Friday, September 6, 2013
CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday said he will no longer give this year’s P5.4-million financial assistance to the Cebu Investment Promotions Center (CIPC), following the mass resignation of the its board of trustees.
He said he will also no longer sign the memorandum of agreement between the City Government and CIPC for the release of the funds.
In his regular news conference yesterday, Rama said he is planning to meet with CIPC trustees who resigned since the City Council blocked Councilor Hanz Abella's move to let them appear before the legislative body in an executive session.
The trustees who resigned are Geronimo Sta. Ana (chairman), Augustus Go (vice chairman), Sabino Dapat (treasurer), Rogelio Lim (trustee) and Enrique Benedicto (trustee).
They filed their resignation on June 28 before the Securities and Exchange Commission and this became effective on June 30.
Sta. Ana said the trustees are not bound to appear before the Cebu City Council. “If there's anyone of us who is willing to appear before the City Council, it's going to be an individual decision,” he added.
Sta. Ana said the resignation of the trustees was only “a courtesy” to give stakeholders a chance to elect new people into the body.
CIPC managing director Joel Mari Yu also told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday that the resignation of the board of trustees is “a courtesy thing done periodically” so that the board will have new officers.
In an interview over TV 5's Aksyon Bisaya, however, Yu said the resignation was due to politics.
In a separate interview, Sta. Ana said the stakeholders of CIPC include the City Governments of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu; the Capitol and some big companies in Cebu.
He said the CIPC used to get contributions from stakeholders, but the trustees do not get any compensation.
He said Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and the Capitol each gave P50,000 every year to CIPC but they have stopped. Only Cebu City Hall continued to fund CIPC, setting aside P5 million every year for the body.
Sta. Ana said that because of its affiliation with the Cebu City Government, the CIPC’s board of trustees resigned shortly before Mayor Rama assumed office.
Rama said he will ask Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and Team Rama councilors Abella, Mary Ann delos Santos, James Cuenco and Dave Tumulak to join the meeting with the former trustees of CIPC.
“We want to know the real score,” he said.
Rama disagreed with the view of councilors aligned with Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan that the City Council does not have jurisdiction over the internal affairs or problems of the CIPC.
He said CIPC has been appearing before the council in the past years as it was tasked to market the 300-hectare South Road Properties (SRP). He also pointed out that the CIPC gets funding from City Hall.
Since their 2013 financial assistance will no longer be released, Yu told Sun.Star Cebu that CIPC will look for other sources of funds for its operations.
He said the Mandaue City Government and the Cebu Provincial Government vowed to give CIPC financial aid.
Sta. Ana said the CIPC promoted Cebu to investors in the past 20 years. He added that it contributed to the growth in the business process outsourcing industry in Cebu and in drawing investors to the Mactan Economic Zone.
He said Yu and Department of Trade and Industry 7 Director Asteria Caberte have not resigned.
Rama said CIPC will no longer be the marketing arm of the SRP because he has tasked the SRP Management Office headed by Roberto Varquez to fulfill the function.
The creation of the SRP office is an offshoot of the study conducted by the Nomura Research Institute commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which recommended the creation of a dedicated body that will oversee the marketing and the whole operations of SRP.
But the City Council last year passed Ordinance 2332, also known as the “Ordinance Protecting the SRP and its Stakeholders from Unlawful and Unauthorized Transactions and Dealings,” which provides that CIPC will be be responsible for the marketing of the SRP.
The ordinance was vetoed by Rama but the council overrode his veto.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 06, 2013.