‘Economic sabotage’ vs. council

"DON'T wait. Be sensitive."

This was Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama's message to the City Council in relation to the deferral of the conversion of the City Government's foreign loan for the South Road Properties (SRP) into a domestic loan.

Rama's pronouncement came after the legislative body told the executive department to submit to them first a request for the passage of a resolution that will authorize the mayor to negotiate with the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) for the loan conversion.

In his regular news conference yesterday, Rama said there is no need for him to request because the Council already know of his plan to have the loan restructured.

Insignificant

"Kahibaw na man sila ana. Kung wa sila kahibaw ana, buta sila. Kung wa sila kadungog, bungol sila. Kung wa sila kahibaw, insignificant sila. Unsa man ng klaseha uy? Dapat di na sila maghuwat. Dapat motabang sila sa mayor (They already know about that. If they didn't know then they are blind. If they didn't hear, they are deaf. If they didn't know, they are insignificant. What kind of Council are they? They shouldn't wait. They should just help the mayor)," he said.

The mayor said he doesn't understand the move of the council, saying that they have not even requested nor consulted with him over the passage of the ordinance that sets aside 10.6-hectares in the SRP as a one-stop sports hub.

"They just passed the ordinance and now they want me to request for a resolution on the loan conversion. They should already know what they ought to do. They should not be obnoxious, they should help. I can do what I want. They can validate what I want if it is legitimate," Rama continued.

If the Council will not pass the resolution in the absence of a request from the executive department, Rama said he will file a case against them.

"Because that is economic sabotage," Rama claimed.

Convert

The mayor wants to convert the City's yen loan for the SRP into a domestic loan so the City can save millions from the interest and foreign exchange losses.

It was Jica, in 1995, that lent the City 12.315 billion yen to develop the 300-hectare SRP.

At that time, its peso equivalent was P4.65 billion. At present, the City's balance is P2.91 billion, including interest.

The loan is payable in 30 years ending in 2025.
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