Editorial: Mandaue’s CICC proposal-A A +A
Thursday, May 22, 2014
MANDAUE City Mayor Jonas Cortes finally has a plan to put to good use the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC). But while Cortes may not have intended it, his proposal to the Provincial Government about the CICC does not put Gov. Hilario Davide III in a good light.
Cortes, in a letter, told the Provincial Board that the Mandaue City Government wants to acquire the CICC and make it a centerpiece of the city’s South Point Commercial District. The structure was damaged by last year’s earthquake but Capitol has refused to fund its repair.
Cortes said that the city, which owns the lot where CICC is located, is willing to purchase the structure and repair and renovate it. The tricky part there would be the purchase price and whether the project would be cost effective.
If the plan pushes through, the CICC will be renamed the Mandaue Expo and Convention Center and will be converted, with the help of the Mandaue City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, into an exhibition center while retaining its function as a high-end convention center.
To ensure that the facility will earn, its unused spaces will be offered for lease to private establishments, something that we suggested early on. Cortes said the city can, for example, build a transport terminal there that will house a travel agency and traveller’s lounge.
In contrast, Capitol, when faced with a damaged structure last year, refused to look for creative ways to make the facility useful and profitable again and thought of disposing the facility instead.
The lackadaisical approach to the CICC problem is not surprising, however. The facility is a project of Davide’s predecessor Gwendolyn Garcia, who is accused of committing irregularities in its construction.
Cortes and Mandaue City’s initiative showed who is viewing the problem objectively. While Davide lacked enthusiasm, Cortes seems to have hit a bright idea that is exciting him and the Mandaue City Council.
Since the CICC has remained unused for months now and has not been earning anything for both the Provincial Government and the Mandaue City Government, then Capitol should help speed up the execution of the Cortes proposal.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 23, 2014.