Cebu City mayor sued over V-hire depot

FOR allowing the operation of the alleged illegal van-for-hire (V-hire) terminal in Barangay Kamagayan, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and City Treasurer Tessie Camarillo will face a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman.

In an 11-page complaint, Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia said Osmeña and Camarillo violated several provisions of Republic Act (RA) 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and City Ordinance (CO) 1958, or the Ordinance Regulating the Establishment and Operation of Terminals for Public Utility Jeepneys and V-hires.

This, after Osmeña approved the usage of the City-owned lot in Barangay Kamagayan as a V-hire terminal.

Garcia said the two respondents should be made liable for violating Section 3(e) of RA 3019, or the corrupt practices act of public officers.

Osmeña also violated CO 1958 since he approved the establishment of the terminal even without the required certificate of accreditation from the City Council.

Under CO 1958, the City is obliged to collect registration fee of P2,000 per V-hire unit annually, terminal fee in an amount equivalent to the one-way fare of one passenger, annual fee of P20,000 and regulatory fee that may be imposed for the privilege of carrying on the business of operating a v-hire terminal.

Earlier, Councilor Pastor Alcover raised the matter before the council through a privilege speech and asked Osmeña to order the stoppage of the operation of the terminal.

It was in September last year when the temporary terminal started its operation on the lot where the CitiCenter Commercial Complex used to stand.

However, in his latest pronouncement, Osmeña said he will not approve the request, saying that the terminal caters to the greater public.

"And by the virtue of his express approval, he has caused undue injury to the City Government and gave unwarranted benefits and preference to the operators of V-hire terminal in Barangay Kamagayan who were allowed to operate therein without the required certification or accreditation from the Sangguniang Panlungsod," Garcia said.

When sought for comment, Osmeña said anyone is entitled to file a complaint.

The mayor believes that his move to allow the operation of the terminal is for the public welfare and provides accessible means of transportation even for those from other towns and cities who are working in the city.

In his news conference yesterday, Osmeña emphasized that the terminal is temporary and is under observation.

"We can't do everything overnight," he said.

Osmeña said the terminal accreditation committee has convened and will look into the matter.
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