THE Cebu City Council wants the executive department to speed up the implementation of the P50-million industrial road at the South Road Properties (SRP).
This, in response to the request of one of the SRP investors, SM Prime Holdings Inc., for the City to start implementing the project in preparation for the opening of their mall in September next year.
SM’s regional operations manager for the Visayas Sherry Tuvilla brought up the non-implementation of the project to the council last month.
During the council’s recent regular session, the committee on laws, headed by Councilor Sisinio Andales, said the concern of SM is valid. He said the completion of the industrial roads will bring economic advantage to the city and its constituents.
Andales, in a committee report, said he wants to know the status of the project.
Councilor Nestor Archival said there is a need for the projects to be implemented soon, saying that the City had vowed to support SM for their project at the SRP.
SM owns a 30-ha. property at the SRP and is the second investor in the area.
Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) Chief Engr. Jose Marie Poblete, who was present during the session, was asked by the council to shed light on the matter.
Poblete said the industrial road, which will also be used for the Bus Rapid Transit project at the SRP, is supposed to be implemented last year yet.
However, Poblete told the councilors that the legislative body had questioned the contract of the contractor, Supreme ABF Construction, who won the bidding.
The council had questioned why the project was bidded out and awarded when it has no council authority.
The DEPW, Poblete said, had then issued a suspension order for the implementation of the project.
The council, for its part, has filed criminal charges before the Office of the Ombudsman against Mayor Michael Rama and 11 other City officials for bidding and awarding the project to a contractor without their approval, saying it violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Without ratifying the contract for the project and prejudice to the case, Councilor Gerardo Carillo moved to ask the executive department to speed up the implementation of the project.
Allies of Rama in the council, Councilors Mary Ann delos Santos and Hanz Abella then asked if such move is logical, saying that the council even filed a complaint.
Abella said it seems the council is washing its hands on the matter. Abella’s pronouncement was echoed by Councilor Eugenio Gabuya Jr.
This prompted the council to take a two-minute recess.
After the break, the council decided to just leave it up to the executive on how to go about the implementation of the project.
“It will be now the call of the executive department,” said Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella.