Hold Lahug lot sale, hotel asks City-A A +A
Sunday, March 23, 2014
THE Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino is asking the City Government to defer the disposal of the City-owned property adjacent to their facility in Barangay Lahug.
They are referring to Lot 917 that has an area of 2,357 sq. m., which the City has already bid out and awarded to Hotel Asia Inc. in December last year.
In their letter to Mayor Michael Rama and the City Council, Waterfront’s Group Chief Engineer Vincent Lazaro said they have long been interested in acquiring the subject property since it is located just near their hotel.
He said that any construction or activity in the area may have a potential adverse effect on the business and facilities of Waterfront.
Lazaro said Waterfront expressed its intention to acquire Lot 917 in 2005 yet. He said they submitted a formal communication and a presentation to the City on how they are intending to use the property.
In a copy of the proposal, the hotel is planning to use the 2,367-sq.-m. meter lot to establish a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose hall to accommodate more bookings than what their 10,000-sq.m. function room can.
In 2004, the hotel said it had to turn down an average of 46 bookings due to full occupancy of its function space, resulting to an estimated P23 million in lost revenue.
According to Lazaro, Waterfront regularly sent its representatives to City Hall to verify whether Lot 917 would be up for bidding anytime soon.
Because of this, Waterfront is questioning the bidding conducted by the City last December for Lot 917 and the awarding of the same to another company.
Lazaro said no actual notice was given to Waterfront.
Lazaro said the transaction failed to comply with the requirements under the State Audit Code of the Philippines, which provides that notice of bidding should be advertised by printed notice in the Official Gazette or for not less than three consecutive days in any newspaper of general circulation.
While a publication was made in Nov. 16, Lazaro said it was advertised in an “obscure local newspaper” two days before the intended public auction date. This would not have given sufficient notice to Waterfront or any interested party of the City’s invitation to bid, he said.
Lazaro also pointed out that the entire bidding process was conducted within two weeks, from Nov. 18 to Dec. 2., when ordinary bidding procedures usually take 113 days.
During their March 19 session, the council noted Waterfront’s letter.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 24, 2014.