Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is willing to study recommendations of the ad hoc committee of the City Council that was tasked to evaluate the P18-billion proposed joint venture agreement to develop Kawit Island.
In his news conference last Friday, Osmeña said he will see what he can accommodate once he finishes going over the recommendations regarding the Gokongwei-led group’s proposed integrated resort in the South Road Properties (SRP).
He, however believes there will be no major change in the contract.
“I don’t think there’s anything serious. We will see what we can accommodate...Based on what I have been told, it’s just fine-tuning,” the mayor told reporters.
Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc. (UHRI) wants to enter into a joint venture agreement with the City Government to convert Kawit Island in the SRP into an integrated resort facility.
UHRI’s proposed development will consist of a commercial and shopping center, a theater for performing arts, a convention center, an integrated resort and gaming facility, three hotels, a theme park, a public art installation, and parking facilities.
In a 14-page report, the council committee has asked the joint venture selection committee (JVSC) to require the project proponent to comply with four additional conditions, before giving them a notice to proceed.
The conditions include requiring the proponent to give a performance bond representing 10 percent or around P1.8 billion of the total unfinished project cost, which will be valid for eight years from the start of the project.
In a separate interview, Councilor Raymond Garcia said he believes the City should come up with a new contract with UHRI since changes will be made in the contract.
“If there will be a new contract, it has to go through again a challenge since it’s a new contract, it’s a new agreement. The one that was posted for a challenge was the old contract,” he said.
Since there will be changes in the contract, Garcia said it has to back to square one.
Asked if he is not worried that they will be accused of delaying the project, Garcia said they are just making sure that the best interest of the City is protected.
If the administration will really push for the approval of the existing contract, Garcia said he will be against it.
“Personally, I will not vote for that particular project if the executive department will not amend it. It’s all or nothing. You have to change and I’m not going to accept it (otherwise). Lisod kaayo,” he said.