City keeps contested road open

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014


CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday said that W. Geonzon St. in Barangay Apas is open to all road users.

His pronouncement came after the lapse of the one-week deadline he has given to Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) and the Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. (CPVDC) to settle their dispute over the use of the road.

FLI, which is undertaking a P5-billion business process outsourcing (BPO) project near the area, wanted to use W. Geonzon St. in going to their construction site so they can finish the project, which have reportedly been stalled for more than a year already.

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However, the CPVDC, which owns the road, has not given FLI an access, saying that doing so will compromise their Philippine Economic Zone Authority’s accreditation for the Cebu IT Park.

Their Peza accreditation provides that CPVDC should physically segregate or isolate IT Park from the rest of the adjacent area.

Necessary

In his regular news conference yesterday, Rama said he saw the need to open W. Geonzon St. to all.

“It (road dispute) is creating a not so palatable business posturing towards others who will be into business in the city. Whatever conflict FLI and CPVDC have, the stand of the City Government and of the Office of the Mayor is that when there is such a development, that road, being a road, should always be made an access,” he said.

“The City should not be made hostage. The people should not be made hostage (to their conflict),” he added.

The mayor also believes W. Geonzon St. should be opened to all to address the heavy traffic along Salinas Drive or for emergencies.

Asked what the City will do if CPVDC still won’t allow FLI to use the road, Rama said “I will cross the bridge when I get there.”

Terms

Sought for comment about the matter, Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI) corporate communications manager Jeanette Japzon said the CPVDC and FLI are already working to resolve the road dispute together with the Cebu Provincial Government. The BPO project of FLI is being undertaken with the Province.

“Lawyers on both sides are currently drafting terms of a possible agreement which ensures that rights and interests of all parties are protected and respected,” she
said.

FLI vice president Allan Alfon had sent a letter to CPVDC president Francis Monera, suggesting that the parties should meet next week at the Capitol with a representative from the Provincial Government, being the owner of the property and the build-and-operate project.

“As drivers of economic prosperity for Cebu, we believe we can co-exist and anchor our strengths together for the common good. We feel we can work things out without any disregard to our respective business objectives and those of the clients we serve,” Alfon said in his letter.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 28, 2014.

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