Tom: Nothing shady about South Road Properties deal

(The Freeman) Updated August 11, 2009 12:00 AM

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he is always prepared to explain to the public all about the financial transactions entered into by the city regarding the construction and the sale of lots at the South Road Properties, formerly the South Reclamation Project.

According to the mayor all the documents about the SRP are still intact, including the financial records that are being kept by the city treasurer’s office whose personnel are very active in the payment of the loan to Japan.
It was city south district Rep. Antonio Cuenco who asked the mayor to render a full accounting of all transactions about the SRP.
Osmeña has encouraged the City Hall reporters to obtain copies of the documents saying there is nothing confidential about it.
The 295-hectare SRP was funded from a P3-billion loan in Japan that is payable within 25 years, but because of the peso devaluation the amount went up to more than P6 billion.
However, the mayor said he is not worried of the escalating amount of the city loan because while the city has a huge debt from Japan, the lots —once completely sold— will also make the city the richest local government unit of the country.
Although Osmeña refused to reveal any information of the possible investors who want to buy the 28-hectare lots at the SRP which is located in barangay Mambaling some of his subordinates said some investors really wish to purchase the lots.
One of the possible investors is planning to build a giant mall at SRP, much bigger to the present SM City Hall in North Reclamation Area.
Osmeña said a mall will trigger the increase of the amount of the nearby lots.
At present, the rates of the lots at the SRP that was already approved by the Commission on Audit is P15,000 per square meters for those in the beachfront, P10,000 per square-meter for those located beside the main roads and P8,000 for those in the interior portions.
The Filinvest Land Inc. has entered a joint venture agreement with the city for a 40-hectare lot, 10 hectares of the property has been purchased at P1.5 billion. — Rene U. Borromeo/BRP (THE FREEMAN)


Filinvest Land pre-qualifies to bid for CCP asset development (South Road Properties)

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated August 09, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI), the property development firm owned by the Gotianun family, has pre-qualified to participate in the bidding for the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) asset development program.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, FLI vice president and corporate information officer Apollo Escarez said the program involves the “redevelopment of CCP’s 62-hectare property into a center for business and economic activity with arts and culture as a focal point.”

The CCP was created in 1966 through Executive Order 30 with the purpose of promoting and preserving Filipino arts and culture.
Last February, the Court of Appeals prohibited the Pasay City government and Republic Real Estate Corp. from selling lots within the CCP complex after the government allegedly failed to pay reclamation costs.
CCP president Nestor O. Jardin said the CCP complex business and master plan was completed in November 2003 after the Supreme Court ruled that the CCP is the owner of the land in 2000.
Aside from the CCP, FLI was also tapped by the Cebu City government as its partner for the development of a 50.6-hectare lot at the South Road Properties.
Its joint venture proposal includes the purchase of a 13-hectare lot for about P2 billion and the development of 35-hectare lot across the prime property into a mixed-use commercial project which will have recreational facilities, residential condominium buildings and IT buildings.
FLI has set aside P5.3 billion for its capital expenditures this year or an increase of 29 percent from the previous year’s P4.1 billion. The money will be used to develop five to six mid-rise buildings, two BPO buildings, the first phase of the P25 billion township on a reclaimed land in Cebu City, and its first high-rise residential project called The Linear.
These projects will be funded using internally-generated cash and bank borrowings. The company has available bank lines of P3 billion.
The company is launching 29 new projects and phases this year, estimated to generate around P7.4 billion in sales across all market segments.
FLI plans to launch more phases in its ongoing mid-rise projects in Ortigas Extension and Marcos Highway in Pasig City, as well as in Davao and Cebu. It will also launch a similar project in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
For its socialized housing projects, the company is readying new projects within Ciudad de Calamba as well as new phases in existing projects in Batangas, Cavite, Tarlac and Pampanga.


Osmeña says cancer center at South Road Properties goes beyond politics

(The Freeman) Updated August 04, 2009 12:00 AM

CEBU, Philippines - Mayor Tomas Osmeña welcomes opposition leader and businessman Jonathan Guardo’s support to his plan to have a cancer center at the South Road Properties (SRP). here

Osmeña, in an interview during the turn over of 22 buses to the city’s northern barangays, said the proposed project “such as this goes beyond politics.”
“The MD Anderson is a project that goes beyond politics, but whether he endorsed it or not, I know what’s good for us,” Osmeña said.
Guardo earlier said that cancer has been a growing menace, causing the death of important people, including his own father.
This is the reason why Osmeña deserves all the support in making possible the setting up of MD Anderson Cancer Center at the SRP, he added.
He said he is sure that there are hospitals capable of dealing with cancer but Cebu needs world class expertise.
MD Anderson, Guardo said, has treated the mayor’s urinary bladder cancer and there will be a huge demand for that kind of treatment.
“Sure, I know. That’s what I’m saying. Anyone that has an experience with cancer can actually relate and will feel the need. I mean, one would want to get the best treatment,” Osmeña said in response to Guardo’s statement.
The mayor denied insinuations that only those who have money can avail of the treatment at the proposed cancer center at the SRP, saying there are a lot of programs that can be availed even if there is little or no cash at all.
“MD Anderson has programs that do not require money like cancer prevention, early detection, life lengthening and all those stuffs you know,” Osmeña said. In this manner, he said Cebuanos will no longer rely on bogus medicines that have superficial or fake claims.
The Cebuanos will also rely on MD Anderson standard of practicing medicine and not to stand with the bad culture among Filipino doctors who are not afraid of medical malpractice.
“Here doctors get offended when you get a second opinion; they diagnose dengue for tonsillitis, what? In there, doctors consult each other,” Osmeña said.
Aside from the treatment that can be availed by Cebuanos, the MD Anderson will also open a venue for medical tourism since people as far as the Middle East will come to Cebu City.
Osmeña recently met with the Department of Health (DOH) to discuss plans and legalities of the project.
The building is planned to be built by Filinvest Land Inc. in the 50.6-hectare area that is part of the joint venture agreement it has signed with the city government.
Business tycoon Manuel Pangilinan is also being considered to invest in the project in terms of hospital supplies and equipment. — Ferliza C. Contratista/WAB (THE FREEMAN)


Osmeña meets with DOH on cancer center project (South Road Properties)

(The Freeman) Updated July 27, 2009 12:00 AM

CEBU, Philippines - Mayor Tomas Osmeña has met with the staff of Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque in Manila last week to discuss issues surrounding the planned branching out of the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the South Road Properties.

Osmeña said among the major issues discussed was the possibility of bringing foreign doctors to practice in the Philippines but how to go out about the plan is something that he would prefer to keep under wraps for now.
“The discussion came out fairly long and we talked about certain legal issues to be threshed out. I don’t like to discuss my strategy, there are people who don’t like what I’m doing…I might be saying things to their advantage…but I am pushing through with this,” the mayor said.
He said opposition to the project may come from both the national and local scene because of the so-called “crab mentality”.
Osmeña earlier said that having MD Anderson at SRP has the Middle East, Australia and the whole Asia as a market since it is nearer than their hospital in Houston.
The hospital in Texas earns around $1,000 a day for the stay alone, exclusive of the chemotherapy and other treatment fees. He said there was also a day in which the center earned $6.5 million for chemotherapy.
The mayor said he would prefer to build the center within the 50.6 hectare area of the development project of Filinvest Land, Inc. considering that the patients will have to rent apartments and condominiums.
The city earlier presented a proposal to business mogul Manuel Pangilinan for a possible investment at the cancer center. Pangilinan is the president of SMART and Philippine Long Distance Company, heads Metro Pacific Investment Corporation, and owns leading hospitals such as Makati Medical Center.
Osmeña was treated of his cancer of the urinary bladder at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in the University of Texas in Houston.
After nine months in the United States, he returned home last May after he was declared cancer free. — Ferliza C. Contratista/JMO (THE FREEMAN)


City's BRT to be patterned after Bogota's (South Road Properties)

(The Freeman) Updated July 15, 2009 12:00 AM

CEBU, Philippines - Now that he has seen the real deal, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said Cebu City will have a localized version of Bogota’s Bus Rapid Transit System.
Osmeña, in an interview at the VIP Lounge of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport yesterday, said his three-day trip to Colombia was very successful.Tomas:

“It was very nice, Bogota’s BRT is more sophisticated and modern than in Curitiba (Brazil), there are variations,” Osmeña said.
Osmeña spent three days in Colombia upon the invitation of former Bogota mayor Enrique Peñalosa, prior to his checkup at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
He observed Bogota’s TransMilenio and then Pereira City’s Megabus BRT. Pereira City is as big as Cebu City.
“Ours will be localized, we will have some adjustments here,” Osmeña said.
The World Bank had already expressed willingness to fund the entire project. It initially released $235,000 under the Private Public Infrastructure Advisory Facility for an initial study which is set to start next month.
The BRT will cut through the heart of the South Road Properties and include Lapu-Lapu City, Talisay City and Mandaue City.
But only Mandaue City had signified interest to join the said project by issuing a resolution choosing the BRT as their public transportation mode.
Talisay City is supporting the thrust of Cebu City 1st District Rep. Eduardo Gullas which is for a Light Rail Transit similar to Manila.
A BRT is like a train station but buses ply the route instead of trains. – Ferliza C. Contratista/BRP (THE FREEMAN)


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