CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña will offer a “lucrative” land swap deal with the Cebu Provincial Government to solve the problem of the 93-1 lots.
That, so the Province will no longer have to think about pursuing the Ciudad project in Barangay Apas, a 2.8-hectare development worth P1.2-billion, which the mayor believes is not a good project for the city.
“We are now into a process of a land swap and I will make it so lucrative for Davide (Gov. Hilario Davide III) that he will not even bother with the Ciudad project… The land swapping, we will make it as comprehensive as possible pero pabor gyud sa Province,” he said yesterday.
Osmeña said he has no problem with adding more properties to be exchanged for the 93-1 lots.
There are three lots earlier identified to be swapped by the City: a property at the South Road Properties near the office of the Association of Barangay Councils, the Block 27 at the North Reclamation Area and the Cebu City Zoo.
It is not clear yet how many hectares these three properties will cover in exchange for the 32 hectares left out of the 51 hectares of Province-owned lots covered by Provincial Ordinance 93-1.
Asked if the P500 million that the City earlier set aside to buy the 93-1 lots will be used, Osmeña said he will listen to what the Province wants.
“But we can give them many things that they can convert to cash,” he said.
“We will offer a combination of many things. Just remember that the Province is made up of Cebuanos. If they will benefit from this, it’s fine with me. Okay ra na. Why should all the money go to Cebu City? Why don’t they have their own also? I don’t have any problem with that,” he said.
Osmeña, in a news conference yesterday, said he is objecting to the Ciudad project, which is a joint project of the Provincial Government and developer Fifth Avenue Property Development Corp., because of the traffic it will cause to the Banilad-Talamban (BanTal) Corridor.
He said it is the only major road going to the mountain barangays, such as Lusaran, Cambinocot, Paril, Mabini and Agsungot.
BanTal, he said, is also a strong road for housing developments. He said there are many families who own properties going to the mountain barangays, such as the Archivals, Arcillas, the Tud-tuds and the Aboitizes.
“If we are going to clog up that road, the value of their properties will go down because of one mall? How can you convince a Cebuano let’s live over there when it will take you two hours to go to work because of the Ciudad project? It is not a good project for Cebu City because that is our only road,” he said.
Osmeña went on to say that it won’t be easy to widen the corridor because it will cost billions just to accommodate a mall.
Aside form the problem on traffic, Osmeña believes the Ciudad project won’t create employment.
Once it will open, he said it will house many food courts, which might in turn kill the businesses nearby such as the Port Restaurant, the restaurants in IT Park and along the Pope John Paul II Ave.
He said this is what happened when SM City Cebu opened at the North Reclamation Area since the Fair Mart and White Gold went down. The Rosita’s also “disappeared like magic,” he said.
“If we open Ciudad, what will be the result? It will create jobs? No. It will create jobs, gamay ra kay mawa man ang negosyo sa uban, i-layoff sila. So akong pangutana simple kaayo. Naa bay ginansiya? Way klaro. Kung naay ginansiya, gamay ra (It is not clear if the City will earn from it),” he said.
The Ciudad project was first proposed in 2006 yet. Osmeña was also the mayor that time.
The project has since been stalled as the City Council imposed a moratorium on the construction of new buildings along the BanTal corridor.