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Cebu City junks Capitol appeal on SRP

[ Manila Bulletin Online ] January 23, 2009

By MARS W. MOSQUEDA JR.


CEBU CITY — The Cebu City Government has denied the appeal of the Cebu Provincial Capitol against the decision of the Joint Venture Selection Committee (JVSC) that declared the provincial government ineligible to challenge a proposal to develop the South Road Properties (SRP).


Acting Vice Mayor Michael Rama told reporters that he has sent a letter to the Provincial Capitol yesterday morning informing the provincial government that its appeal, which the Capitol sent late Wednesday afternoon, has been denied.


The JVSC earlier decided in a resolution to treat the Capitol’s letter dated Jan. 5 not as a letter of appeal but as a motion for reconsideration of its decision declaring the Capitol ineligible to challenge Filinvest Land Inc.’s proposal for the SRP.


The JVSC resolution also required the Capitol to submit the formal letter of appeal to the mayor and deposit a P125 million non-refundable appeal fee to the JVSC. The P125 million fee represents one half of one percent of the total project cost proposed by FLI, which is P25 billion.


Rama said the provincial government sent its formal appeal Wednesday afternoon, to which he immediately responded with the one-page letter yesterday morning. Rama said the JVSC will meet today to discuss awarding the 50.6-hectare coveted property to FLI.


City Administrator Francisco Fernandez, chairman of the JVSC, said the province is not qualified to challenge FLI’s offer because it is not a private entity as required by the City Ordinance that created the committee.


Fernandez also said the documents submitted by the Capitol failed to show that its financial statements were audited by the Commission on Audit. The provincial government also does not have the minimum required financial equity and technical expertise for the joint venture activity.


"Based on a review of the documents submitted, the provincial government of Cebu fell short of the minimum qualifications and overall capability for the JV undertaking called for in the ordinance with regards to the legal, financial, technical (including expertise and track record) and economic parameters," the JVSC resolution read.


The provincial government’s appeal premised that it is a local government unit with a dual personality of being a political and a corporate entity, and as such is qualified to undertake the SRP development.


FLI’s proposal calls for the construction of a minimum of 875,000 square meters of building spaces in the Central Business District.

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