Shut down Citilink: Rama

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014


OPERATIONS at the One Citilink Terminal should be stopped, said Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, indicating that corruption is apparent in any terminal.

He said that from the start he was against the amendment of the ordinance that allowed Citilink to operate.

Under a city ordinance, no terminal should be operated near a hospital.

Citilink is next to the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).

Rama said the City will need the area where the terminal is when it rebuilds the hospital, which was condemned after last October’s earthquake.

“With CCMC being there we have to look at Citilink’s operations. I don’t want the terminal to continue,” he said.

But he could not state yet as to what basis the City can close the terminal.

Nothing specific

While he said there is corruption in the terminal, he did not specify.

“Dispatching is against the law so this is serious. Order should be observed,” Rama said in his regular press conference yesterday.

One thing the City will do is revisit the ordinance that prevents terminals from operating near hospitals.

Albert Lim, president of Citilink, said the City has been singling out the terminal, which sits on City property.

For one, the City Treasurer’s Office cited the terminal for delinquent payments of the 15-percent share that the City is entitled to from its operations.

Lim, though, said the terminal has “religiously” paid its share to the City, albeit in erratic amounts because the number of public utility jeepneys (PUJs) and V-hires that park in the terminal fluctuate.

He said that during the time of former mayor Tomas Osmeña, they agreed to the creation of a technical working group that would identify the appropriate monthly amount the terminal would pay the City.

Fewer users

The group was composed of the Mayor’s Management Team (MMT) and some employees from the City Treasurer’s Office.

The MMT was disbanded when Rama became mayor.

“The gross income of the terminal derived from the terminal fee/income it charges to the PUJs and V-hires continues to be erratic because the vehicles that go inside the terminal dropped,” said Lim in a letter addressed to City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas.

Lim lamented that there are a lot of informal terminals sprouting all over the City.

Also, Lim said that some PUJs and V-hires prefer to pick up passengers outside the terminal so the drivers don’t have to pay the terminal fee.

These informal terminals, he said, have not paid the City a share or accreditation fee, as mandated by City Ordinance 1958.

“It is, therefore, our sentiments that Citilink is being singled out and persecuted,” read Lim’s letter.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 14, 2014.

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