ASIDE from President Arroyo, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña also gave other past presidents credit for the construction and the success of the 290-hectare South Road Properties (SRP).

This, as he authorized the changes in the development plans of Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) for the construction of buildings on the 10-hectare Pond F and its joint venture with the City Government on a 40-hectare lot there.

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To increase the value of the SRP lots and to encourage more investors to invest in the property, the mayor said that he will cooperate with FLI as much as he can.

Osmeña agreed to a “minor adjustment” that FLI will make in their development plans, particularly changing the area where they will begin construction this April.

The mayor said that related provisions of the contract will have to be amended, since the City will turn over lot titles to FLI every time it pays its annual dues for the 10-hectare Pond F.

No changes in the prices of the lots and other terms of the joint venture contract were made, Osmeña assured.

City Administrator Francisco Fernandez earlier said the changes would have FLI paying an additional P70 million to the City next month.

“My policy is simply this, we have to demonstrate to the whole world that FLI made money from the SRP. As long as there is no material cost to us, we should cooperate to let them make as much money as possible because if they make a lot of money, we own all the properties around it…(these properties) will go up in (terms of) value. That’s the logic behind that,” Osmeña said.

He added that he also does not want the City to have a reputation for giving investors and business owners a hard time in doing business here.

While Arroyo took credit for the reclaimed properties, Osmeña also gave credit to other people for the SRP, which he said is contributing to the progress and surplus income of the City Government.

In her speech during the Charter Day awarding ceremony last Wednesday night, the President said that she counts SRP as her best partnership with the City.

She also said that she was glad to see that her administration’s investment in Cebu City and the SRP are paying off.

Arroyo thanked Cebuanos for supporting her, and congratulated city officials and local businesses for making Cebu City a great and important city not only in the Philippines but also in the international economy.

“It was like a farewell speech, it’s nice and it was very warm and it showed peace of mind. Se was sentimental and she took credit for the SRP, which of course should be shared with a lot of other presidents also. The critical part where she helped us was in the release of the titles,” Osmeña said.

The SRP, known then as the South Reclamation Project, was implemented during the time of former presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Estrada, but the land titles were not released until 2005, with the help of Arroyo as president.

During the Charter Day ceremony, Arroyo and Osmeña recognized the SRP’s contribution to the progress of Cebu City, including the investments of FLI and SM Prime Holdings Inc. (LCR)