Mandaue wants to buy CICC

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Friday, April 4, 2014


MANDAUE City Mayor Jonas Cortes envisions the Cebu International Convention Center as a destination for tourists visiting the city.

The City has written the Cebu Provincial Government expressing intent to buy the badly damaged building, which sits on a parcel of land owned by the City.

City Hall is willing to repair the building, rendered idle by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda late last year, and turn it into an exhibit center for locally made products.

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“The CICC is already a landmark,” Cortes told reporters last Thursday, adding it will be renamed into Mandaue Investments Promotion Action Center (MIPAC) once the deal with Capitol is closed.

Cortes said the MIPAC will be a one-stop shop for tourists, housing stalls showcasing the city’s world-class furniture designs and local delicacies, among others.

“Our plan is to make the building a man-made tourist site. We can make something like fountains or wishing wells where tourists can go to enjoy,” he said.

The mayor said an independent appraisal team may be hired to determine the right price for the building, which was constructed at P800 million for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in 2007.

“We hope to close the deal this year,” said Cortes, adding he wants the MIPAC operational during next year’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

“We also plan to tap our partner, the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce of Industry to manage the center,” he said.

Establishing the MIPAC, Cortes said, is in line with the City’s vision to become the country’s main source of quality consumer products by 2020.

He pointed out that Mandaue is among the candidates in a search for outstanding local government units called “Islands of Governance.”

Earlier, Cortes expressed interest to convert the CICC into a City Hall, with the existing City Hall too small to accommodate the City’s operations.

But he later announced that the City will construct a new building, to be named People’s Center, on the site of the old public market where City Hall offices will be housed as well as the MIPAC.

But plans changed again after the Oct. 15 earthquake, which badly damaged the new public market building.

The City now plans to construct a new market building on the site of the old public market, instead of the People’s Center.

Cortes believes the CICC, once it becomes the MIPAC, will have more spaces where some City offices can be transferred.

With its strategic location, the building will help promote the City’s local industries, he added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 05, 2014.

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