Rama’s fiscal mismanagement-A A +A
Thursday, September 19, 2013
THIS is in response to a column by Mr. Bobby Nalzaro titled, “Tomas’s crazy idea.” It is full of misinformation, some bordering on the ridiculous.
Before the change in administration in 2010, I made a monster payment of P1.1 billion for the South Road Properties (SRP) loan in lieu of the normal installment. Even with this payment, the city was able to enjoy a P600-million surplus.
Also, because of my sale to SM and Filinvest, the Mike Rama administration regularly gets a flow of income (for this year, it’s P629 million). That’s more than enough to cover the SRP loan payment of P568 million this year.
Maybe Mr. Nalzaro wants me to shut up because he doesn’t want the city residents to know that:
--The SRP has gotten beyond the break-even point.
--The P1 billion in budgeted profits from the Filinvest joint venture for the year did not materialize this year because of the Rallos lawsuit that tainted that title. We lost P1 billion in profit because Rama could not solve a P122-million lawsuit.
--Consider this: Rama wants to sell the SRP lots to deodorize the stench of his fiscal mismanagement.
a. He made SM pay P277 million in advance (this is due next year) just to pay the SRP loan this year. (It’s like we sold next year’s salary.) He has to sell SRP lots because he has no more source of income to pay the loan next year.
b. He doesn’t even have money to buy fuel. The Rama administration bought over 500 vehicles--more than Janet Lim-Napoles did. So the city now has about 1,200 vehicles without fuel.
c. He has to restore to normal the Special Education Fund. He has to account for P42 million in missing medicines, etc.
d. He appointed our city accountant to the position of city treasurer. This is the same city accountant who was primarily responsible for most of the 39 deficiencies cited by the Commission on Audit. Worse, he wants the new city treasurer to retain the position of city accountant at the same time.
e. Don’t tell anyone, but Rama doesn’t have a master plan on how to sell the SRP. He just talks. Ditto with the Bus Rapid Transit, drainage, traffic, etc. It’s all talk.
One final point. Ordinance 2332 that allegedly bars Rama from selling the SRP was signed by Rama himself. This is classic. He is blaming me for his stupidity.
Actually, under the ordinance, Rama can sell the SRP using the BOT law. Read the ordinance. That’s eactly how SM and Filinvest bought SRP lots.
The ordinance does not bar Rama from leasing SRP lots, like in the case of Bigfoot. A Japan-based group wants to lease part of the SRP for a retirement facility.
Leasing is good because it provides rental income to the city every year and we still end up owning the lot and the buildings. That’s better than selling the land wherein the city will lose the property forever. -- Tom Osmeña
Waterfront’s pilferage case
I am writing in connection with the article published in Sun.Star Cebu last Sept. 11, 2013 entitled “ERC finds hotel guilty of pilferage, orders it to pay Veco P38.9 million.”
Although the article is largely based on the facts of ERC Case No. 2011-154 CC, allow me to react to the portion saying: “Veco corporate communications manager Theresa Gonzales-Sederiosa said that on Sept. 5, Waterfront paid the amount stated in the ERC order. Since Veco considers the issue settled, she said the power utility firm will no longer revive the pilferage case it filed earlier against the hotel management.”
While it is true that Waterfront already settled the judgment amount, let me state for the record that I did not make those statements, whether directly or indirectly, and that I did not issue those direct quotes attributed to me.
Let me also put on record that, as a matter of procedure, Veco has never issued public statements about pilferage cases. The same is true for the case involving Waterfront Hotel. -- Ma. Theresa Sederiosa
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 19, 2013.