City needs payment to cover obligations

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013


THE P500-million payment the Cebu City Government is demanding from Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) will be used to pay City Hall’s November to December obligations.

The amount, according to the City Legal Office, is the City’s 10-percent share of the gross proceeds from the sale of condominium units in its joint venture project with FLI at the South Road Properties.

Based on the records of the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO), the City’s payables, as of Nov. 19, amount to P962.6 million, said Councilor Margarita Osmeña, committee on budget and finance chairperson.

This includes P233.4 million for personal services and more than P729 million for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).

Under personal services, the P233.4 million includes the P47.8-million yearend bonuses and cash gifts for the City’s more than 4,000 employees, among others.

Source of funding

For MOOE, the P729 million includes the honorarium of barangay officials, day care teachers, tanods, garbage collectors, street sweepers, lupon amounting to P36.9 million; P22 million as allowance to persons with disabilities; P7.9 million honorarium of barangay health workers; and P23 million for garbage collection.

It also includes P240 million as allowances to the 60,000 senior citizens and P92 million for the City’s scholarship program, among others.

To settle the payables for the remaining months of the year, Osmeña said the CTO had identified the FLI’s payment as a source of funding.

Other sources include the P183-million Internal Revenue Allotment share of the City for this year and P100 million in real property taxes and P50 million in business taxes.

Osmeña said P80 million is also being identified as income for the sale of waterfront lots and P175 million for the sale of lots at the North Reclamation Area but these will not be realized yet since the City has not started selling the properties.

Advice

Osmeña, in an interview yesterday, said she understands that the City needs money but added that FLI should be treated well because it is one of the investors at the SRP.

The councilors pronouncement followed after Atty. Gerone Castillo, City Legal Office chief, said the City might resort to legal actions if FLI refuses to remit the P500 million.

“I can understand how eager we are to have that because without that how can we pay our commitment. But you don’t treat them like that. It will scare other investors,” she said.

Mayor Michael Rama said that if an investor sticks to the terms of its contract with the City it has nothing to be afraid of.

Rama, in his regular news conference yesterday, believes FLI should pay what is due to the City.

“And I wish we need not have to proceed to something (legal actions),” he said.

FLI, in a previous statement, said their remittance to the City is updated and paid in advance.

They said they have official receipts and copies of checks to prove this.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 04, 2013.

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