AMID the risk of losing financial aid from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), Cebu City Hall will increase this month its monthly financial assistance to the Cebu Investment and Promotions Center (CIPC), the marketing arm of the South Road Properties.
Pagcor usually gives its assistance directly to CIPC.
But under Mayor Michael Rama’s administration, the CIPC will not only function as the reclaimed properties’ marketing office. It will also manage and oversee the operations and maintenance of the 290-hectare facility, and will be in charge of the City Government’s tourism promotions.
Rama said this is the reason the City will increase from P400,000 to P480,000 a month the financial assistance it gives to CIPC.
“Aside from marketing the SRP, CIPC will also oversee everything at the SRP. The people running CIPC are mostly professionals. SRP has become economic and business in nature and it cannot be handled in the way we handle public service,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
Rama said he is just awaiting the City Council’s approval of a resolution increasing the financial aid that Pagcor gives to CIPC.
Councilor Jose Daluz III proposed a resolution affirming the validity of Resolution No. 09-2962, which approved the release of P400,000 a month directly to the Cebu Economic and Business Foundation, Inc. from Pagcor under the Host City Share.
The resolution that the City Council will tackle today also requests Pagcor to increase the fund allocation for CEBFI from the Host City Share to P480,000 a month effective Aug. 1.
CIPC Managing Director Joel Mari Yu confirmed that they accepted the offer of an increase in the financial assistance, in exchange for additional services and scope of work at the SRP.
“They’re (City) the ones who asked us to take the additional financial aid in exchange for other things they want us to do.
Before, we were just in charge of marketing the SRP but now it will be the whole thing, including the salaries of the people, maintenance of the entire SRP, the utilities and security,” Yu said.
Yu will also sit as member of the Cebu City Tourism Commission, where he will take the lead in policy making, planning and creating the City’s marketing strategies for tourism.
In a phone interview yesterday, he said he is not bothered at all by the plans to privatize Pagcor, and the possibility of losing their financial aid.
“That’s not a cause for worry, it’s not a problem at all. Even if Pagcor is privatized, they will not be able to get away from the obligation to give financial aid to the host city because they get their business license from the City. That is why I don’t think they will pull out the aid. The more they should give because it’s the City that issues their permit to operate,” Yu added.