Review of deal with land developer pushed

CEBU City Councilor Joel Garganera wants the City Council to revisit the joint venture (JVA) agreement that the City Government entered with Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) almost 10 years ago for the development of a property in the South Road Properties (SRP).

Garganera said an executive session should be conducted with FLI and concerned City Hall offices so they will be updated about matters pertaining to the JVA.

“As what I have heard in the last 10 years, our City Accounting Office did not have any access in examining the books of FLI,” he said.

The JVA covers the construction of several medium-rise residential buildings in SRP. The deal was penned by the City and FLI in 2009.

So far, FLI has completed the development in the first phase of the joint venture project.

But Garganera said that the residential buildings have not been fully occupied.

By revisiting the agreement, Garganera said, the City can be guided in its next transaction, considering that there is another corporation that wants to enter into a JVA for a development in Kawit Island.

The council has formed a five-member ad hoc committee to evaluate the P18-billion proposal of Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc. (UHRI) for a joint venture project with the City in Kawit Island.

UHRI’s proposed development consists 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.

Last Wednesday, the ad hoc committee started scrutinizing the proposal.

Meanwhile, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he is satisfied with the performance of the councilors when they evaluated the financial aspect of UHRI.

Osmeña said the evaluation of the proposal is needed to protect the best interest of the City.

Councilor Raymond Garcia earlier expressed his concern on the capability of UHRI to develop the project, considering that it is just a newly created corporation.

UHRI assured the City, though, that they can do the project as they are the subsidiary of the Gokongwei Group of Companies, which already has a track record in the business industry.

The committee will conduct another hearing today to discuss the technical aspect of UHRI’s P18-billion development. (RVC)
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