Mayor mulls lifting ban on swimming off SRP

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014


SWIMMING in the sea off the South Road Properties (SRP) is prohibited, but Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama may just reconsider the ban.

The mayor said he enjoyed watching the crowd of people who spent Easter Sunday swimming off the SRP. But he said he wants to make sure that the area is safe for the public.

Rama said he will ask the Bantay Dagat Commission, the Coastal Management Board and other City Hall departments to assess the coastline of the SRP, and the quality and depth of the water there.

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In a news conference yesterday, the mayor said the scene he saw last Sunday fits his vision of a waterfront development project “and provides a good landscape for the city.”

Effect

He said allowing people to swim in the sea off the reclamation project would not affect the development at the SRP, where residential condominiums and shopping malls are being built.

A retirement village may also rise at the SRP, if the City Council approves the proposal of a Japanese group.

Rama appealed to the Cebu City Council to discuss the counter-offer to lease 1.2 hectares of SRP at P32 per square meter.

Japanese Group I-Land Ways Philippines proposed to establish a retirement facility at the SRP and made a counter-offer much lower than the P100 per square meter pegged by the Cebu City Council.

“Let it (counter proposal) be discussed. I appeal to the council to find time to discuss this immediately, lest it will be sidetracked,” Rama said in his regular news conference yesterday.

Lease

I-Land Ways' counter-proposal was already submitted to the legislative body.

I-Land Ways president Kazuhito Matsuda said P32 is “more favorable” to the company.

He said that his offer is higher than the going lease rates at the Mactan Economic Zone I and II, which he claimed to be at P28 per square meter.

But with a proposed lower lease rate, Matsuda also proposed to lessen the rent-free coverage if the contract pushes through.

According to the City's proposal, crafted by the Council's five-member ad hoc committee, I-Land Ways will have a five-year gratis on the leased property while the Japanese company constructs its retirement facility.

I-Land Ways also counter-proposed a lease period of 50 years, renewable for another 25 years.

The City's proposal was set only for 25 years, renewable for another 25 years.

Matsuda hopes that the City will approve the counter-proposal before April 28, saying there is a need for them to expedite the negotiation so they can meet the targets for the project.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 23, 2014.

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