Marketing arm of SRP ‘should still’ be CIPC-A A +A
Saturday, September 7, 2013
CEBU City Councilor Sisinio Andales yesterday said Mayor Michael Rama should follow the ordinance that tasks the Cebu Investment Promotions Center (CIPC) to market the 300-hectare South Road Properties (SRP).
Rama earlier said the marketing arm of the SRP is no longer the CIPC but the SRP Management Office headed by Robert Varquez, following the mass resignation of the CIPC’s board of trustees.
Andales, a lawyer, told Sun.Star Cebu that City Ordinance (CO) 2332 is still valid and its provisions should be heeded by the mayor, considering that it is a law.
CO 2332, which was passed by the council last year, is also known as “An Ordinance Protecting the South Road Properties and its Stakeholders from Unlawful and Unauthorized Transactions and Dealings.”
Rule of law
The ordinance provides that no person, employee or official of the City Government is allowed to sell or market the SRP without prior approval of the City Council.
It also provides that the CIPC will continue to perform its task as the marketing arm of the SRP.
“The mayor cannot just revoke such ordinance unless it is annulled by the court or rescinded by way of amendment,” he said.
“Abi ko ba mo-follow sila sa (I thought they would follow the) rule of law,” Andales added, apparently taking a dig at one of Rama’s taglines when he promoted his reelection bid during the last May 13 elections.
Andales also did not agree with the mayor’s earlier statement that while an ordinance is presumed regular, it doesn’t mean it’s correct.
“It is not the mayor who will say that an ordinance is incorrect. It should be determined by the court,” he said.
Rama, in a previous interview, said he would ask his allies in the council to file a commendatory ordinance of CO 2332.
Meanwhile, Atty. Gerone Castillo, head of the City Legal Office, said the mayor will not have any liability even if he does not heed the provisions of CO 2332 since the ordinance doesn’t have a penalty clause.
“There is no crime or liability committed if there’s no law that punishes it,” he said.
Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella, for his part, said transferring the task to market the SRP from the CIPC to the SRP Management Office is an executive prerogative.
Labella appealed to both the executive and legislative departments of the City to be objective when handling the SRP, saying it is the city’s constituents who are paying for it.
The City implemented the SRP, formerly known as the South Reclamation Project, using the 12.315-billion yen that the Japan International Cooperation Agency lent to the City in 1995. The loan is payable in 30 years, ending in 2025.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 07, 2013.