Editorial: CICC is needed, after all-A A +A
Friday, March 8, 2013
IT LOOKS like we won’t be seeing Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes anytime soon holding office inside the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC), which his city wants to buy for a pittance from the Provincial Government to be converted into a City Hall.
Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale and her eager spokesperson had earlier painted a bleak portrait of the facility, announcing that its annual earnings could not match its operating expenses. Because the data presented were not contextualized, negativity reigned.
That prompted Cortes to “toy” with the idea of buying the facility and converting it into a City Hall, although he explained that the price should be cheaper than the CICC’s construction cost of more than one billion pesos. He needs to buy it cheap to cover for the conversion cost.
Politicians like Rep. Tomas Osmeña and Provincial Board Member Arleigh Sitoy immediately jumped into the fray, egging on Cortes to pursue his “idea” without objectively weighing its logic.
Osmeña, who once toyed with his own “idea” of selling the Cebu City Medical Center but later backed off from it, suggested other uses for the lot once the structure is torn down. “It will even make more money as a funeral parlor,” he said, ever the smartaleck.
Of course, the CICC is useful as it is, that is if objectivity and not politicking (the facility was built by suspended governor Gwendolyn Garcia, a political rival of Magpale, Osmeña and Sitoy) would be the criteria for assessing its worth.
With the possibility of the Philippines hosting international events, like supposedly the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in 2014, the importance of the CICC has become evident once more. Now the tune has changed.
No, the CICC won’t become Mandaue’s City Hall, neither would it become a funeral parlor. Instead, it will be repaired (with the help of the national government through the Department of Public Works and Highways) and will be made “really world class.”
To Magpale’s credit, she didn’t oppose the proposal for Capitol and other concerned government agencies to spend some P66 million for the repair and improvement of the CICC. That’s a tacit admission that constructing the facility was worthwhile.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 08, 2013.