CEBU CITY, Philippines- Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia pitched another strategy in attaining the number one status of the province in the entire country.
Her revelation; pursue the multi-billion Ciudad project in an event where she also visited her “pet project” during her previous term in 2012, the Filinvest Cyberzone Cebu (FCC) that is just across the Asiatown IT Park in Barangay Apas.
“We can move on now, especially we are looking at another future development in our Ciudad property. So expect great things for Cebu, when we say we will forge our way back to number one status again. This is living proof,” Garcia said in her message.
The Ciudad project was stalled for several years as former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena opposed it claiming that its construction will worsen the traffic problem in the Banilad-Talamban (Ban-Tal) corridor in the city.
But as Osmena is out and an ally is in place, Mayor Edgardo Labella, the Ciudad project could really happen.
Tristan Las Marias, Filinvest Senior Vice President for Vismin meanwhile described the FCC as the vision of Garcia of making Cebu as an IT hub.
“We are honored to welcome Gov. Garcia here at Filinvest at Cyberzone Cebu. The inception for FCC and for Cebu to become an IT hub was her vision and we at Filinvest would like Governor Gwen to personally see the fruits of that vision, standing strong and growing,” Las Marias said in a statement.
The FCC sits in a province owned lot that used to be the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center (BBRC), the Cebu City jail before its transfer to Kalunasan.
Garcia in a short interaction with reporters after she spoke in the FCC event made mention of how she “dreamt for the fruition of the project.”
The bidding of the project was in 2012 before she ended her first nine-year term in 2013. She was first elected in 2004 and when her three terms expired, she became congresswoman for Cebu’s 3rd district spanning for six years from 2013 to 2019.
Filinvest incidentally won in the bidding for the establishment of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) project against Cebu Property
Ventures and Development Corp. (CPVDC) where later a controversy cropped up as CPVDC which operates the IT Park built a perimeter wall in W. Geonzon Street which made vehicular and pedestrian access difficult in the area.
Then Governor Hilario Davide solved the impasse by forging a perpetual road right of way agreement to CPVDC through access in province owned properties in Salinas Drive and Gov. Mariano Cuenco Avenue in exchange for the ingress and egress in Geonzon Street.
Garcia through the Cebu Provincial Board authored by PB member John Ismael Borgonia has mutually nullified the agreement last September 19, 2019 in time before her visit to the FCC yesterday.
Garcia described the memorandum of agreement as “disastrous” saying her administration could have public-private partnerships projects without giving up the rights of the province in its properties.
“We intend to continue with this direction offering provincial properties ideally located for private sector development without of course giving up our possession over that property” Garcia said.
That pronouncement said a lot. With the Ciudad project in the offing and the rest of Cebu’s prime lots availability, it could eventually boost the financial coffers of the province.
Add that up to its existing income and source of revenues, the goal of making Cebu No.1 again is just a matter of time. In terms of resources, that is almost certain./AAJ