MANDAUE City Vice Mayor-elect Carlo Pontico Fortuna said that it is just a matter of time that the City Government will be able to acquire the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC). He said the purchase may be sealed within six months.

Fortuna made the announcement during an 888 News Forum in response to the question raised by Patria Aurora Roa, former Department of Tourism 7 director, asking for an update of the CICC.

Both Roa and Fortuna were directors of the CICC board when Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale was appointed as acting governor of Cebu from December 2009 to June 2010 after Malacañang placed former governor and now Rep. Gwen Garcia (Cebu, third district) under suspension.

Recently, Fortuna said he, Gov. Hilario Davide III, Congressman-elect and outgoing Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes and Mayor-elect Luis Gabriel Quisumbing met and affirmed the Capitol’s plan to allow the City to buy the CICC building.

“Mandaue City will be buying it and part of the commitment after the acquisition of CICC is to continue the plan to establish a product exhibition center and provide offices to the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Department of Trade and Industry,” Fortuna said.

He said the City has enough funds to purchase the facility.

“We have enough funds to purchase that building. It is just a matter of time, perhaps within the next six months, we will be able to acquire the structure from the Capitol,” said Fortuna.

When asked what the City Government will do after acquiring the CICC, Fortuna said they could either rehabilitate the building or construct a new one.

What is definite, though, is that there will be an exhibition center and a convention center. It is also likely that they will invite private investors to partner with Mandaue in developing CICC.

“The area where CICC stands is very wide and many investors are willing to pool in their money to build a bigger complex. The parking area is already a huge space,” he said.

Bobby Lim Joseph, the co-founder of 888 News Forum, offered to help the Mandaue City Government in the product exhibition activities.

Joseph, a president-emeritus of the National Independent Travel and Tours Association, said that in Singapore, a product exhibition center has a space of 150 hectares.