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Rama to chase loan to resolve SRP money owing

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CEBU CITY, Philippines - The Cebu City Government has been struggling to its loan balance with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which offered the 12,315 million yen to finance the 300-hectare South Road Properties (SRP). This loan has been amateur during the times of former mayor Tomas Osmena.

The city started implementing the Cebu City South Coastal Road Project now known as SRP in 1995 with a loan of 12,315 million yen, in which at that time is equivalent to P4.65 billion pesos and 18,391 million yen, correspondingly from JICA, which was then known as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

JICA is a lending agency that prioritizes developing countries. The city government allocates P589 million every year for debt servicing. The loan is payable in 30 years, ending in 2025. The city’s balance is still P2.4 billion, including interest, as of December 2014.

According to City Accountant lawyer Mark Salomon, the city will lose at least P1.2 billion that it might otherwise pay out essential services in the next 10 years if it will not convert its foreign loan for the SRP.

Salomon underscored that the P1.2 billion will not wrap the city’s payments for the principal amount of the loan it took from the JICA, but only the expenditure for currency fluctuations and the guarantee fee.

He also said the foreign exchange losses are expected to reach P993 million in the next ten years or almost P100 million every year.

For the next ten years, Salomon stressed that the city will have to pay P206,513,590 or nearly P207 million for the guarantee fee, on top of its foreign exchange losses.

Seeing as the city started paying for the loan in 2005, Salomon further emphasized that it has already endured foreign exchange losses of P90,238,812 per annum or a total of P902,388,126.

The amount forms part of the P2.63 billion that the city has so far paid for the principal. The city pays for the SRP loan twice every year, in the months of February and August.

The city suffered foreign exchange losses because when the city goes through into the loan accords for the SRP in March 1996, there was an enormous dissimilarity in the value of the yen to the US dollar and the dollar to the peso.

During that time, the exchange rate for one yen was US$1.3, while each US dollar was worth P26.30. Now, however, Salomon said the yen-to-dollar exchange rate is at P44.45.

“So there is really a big difference, foreign exchange loss occurs when an accord is entered into under a foreign currency, which in this case is Japanese yen, and at that time of disbursement, there is an eminent exchange rate due to the fluctuation of currency value,” he said.

He added that, “If we don’t convert the foreign loan into a domestic loan, we will really suffer further losses.”

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) collects a one-percent guarantee fee of the city’s total outstanding loan balance for the year and remits it to the Department of Finance (DOF). LBP is the conduit bank of JICA while DOF is the guarantor of the loan.

In order to address the problem, the Cebu City Government under Mayor Michael L Rama’s administration seeks solution.

First is converting a Foreign Loan into a Domestic Loan. They will find a bank which would pay to the JICA fully and the city government will pay to that certain bank. Another option is to sell some lots in the SRP to pay in full the loan in JICA.

Mayor Rama will go ahead with his plan to take out a new loan to buy out the city’s loan balance with JICA for the SRP. He said this would relieve Cebu City of the high interest charges on the existing loan which is paid through the LBP.

Rama pointed out that any new sales of SRP lots will be spent on the city’s desires.

Looking back, the City Council approved a resolution authorizing Rama to make new SRP lot sales.

Selling large piece of the SRP with part of the money earned used to pay in full the loan incurred for the reclamation work is but one of the steps that the Rama administration wants to take to loosen the financial knot that the project has produced. Converting the foreign loan into a domestic one is another.

To date, the city government is doing its best in order to solve the problem and consequences that they are facing, giving a serious effort in order to settle the remaining debt of the city to JICA. (Cebu City Public Information Office/Greggy Jiggs P. Senados, PIO Staff with Pinky Torotoro and Charren Sambrana, Mass Comm. Interns)


CITOM collects P4.6M in December 2014

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CEBU CITY, Philippines - The Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (CITOM) has collected a whopping grand total of P4,611,645.00 for the whole month of December in the year 2014.

Compared to the same period last year, the collection which goes to the city's coffers is smaller with December 2013 reaching to P4,730,154.65. The amount is also lower compared to the last month of November 2014 which totaled to P5,657,249.29.

The biggest chunk of the said amount is from the Pay Parking Fees which totaled to P3,021,300.00, while the smallest is from the Sticker Fees which is P2,300.00 only.

Other particulars included the following, Administrative Penalty - P711,535.00; Testing Fee - P66,800.00; Travel Line Fees - P11,800; Road Parking Permit Fee - P16,800.00; Motorcycle for Hire Fine - P23,200.00; Trisikad Fee - P82,500.00; Clamping Fee - P264,500.00; Impounding Fee - P154,660.00; Towing Fee - P12,750.00; Jaywalking Fee - P179,450; Police Report - P44,440.00; Bicycle Registration Fee - P7,120; and Driver's/Vehicle Clearance - P12,490.00.

Meanwhile, the figures are based from the Monthly Collection Report of CITOM for the said month which was submitted by Mrs. Sofia C. Bacolod, Officer-in-charge of its Traffic Violations Bureau.

In an interview with the BARUGG News, Bacolod shared that the decrease of its collection is due to the many holidays for the said month.

For those who are asking for clarifications and other inquiries the CITOM office is now located since January 5 this year at the former office of the Department of Public Services (DPS), at the 2nd floor of Ramos Multipurpose Building, along F. Ramos Street in Barangay Cogon Ramos this city and can be reached through its Telephone number (032) 256-1911.

In addition, the Citom's former office along N. Bacalso Avenue, this city is now used as an extension of the Cebu City Medical Center while the DPS is now located in the South Road Properties. (Cebu City Public Information Office PIO/Greggy Jiggs P. Senados)


Out-of-town contingents triumph in 35th Sinulog Festival

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(CEBU CITY – Public Information Office) - Visiting contingents from Placer in Masbate and Abuyog in Leyte bested the hometown favorites as they clinched the top plum in the Sinulog-based and free interpretation categories respectively in the 2015 Sinulog Festival.

Tribu Lingganay from Alang Alang, Leyte came in close second in the Free Interpretation Category followed by Tribu Himag-ulaw of Masbate in the third place. First-timer Tribu Katbalaugan of Catbalogan City, Samar placed fourth, while last year’s champion Lumad Basakanon of Basak San Nicloas, Cebu City landed on the fifth place.

The Buyogan Festival Tribu Buyoganon was declared best in Musicality while the Best in Costume went to Tribu Lingganay.

In the Sinulog-based category, Tangub City’s Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe snatched the second place, with Carcar City Division in the third place. The Tuburan National High School and Talisay City Central Elementary School grabbed the fourth and fifth places respectively.

In the meantime, in the Street Dancing Category, Tribu Lumad Basakanon defended its title as grand champion followed by Tangub City’s Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe in the second place. Other winners included Kulturang Placereno, Tribu Buyoganon and Tribu Lingganay in the 3rd, 4th and 5th places respectively.

This year’s Sinulog Festival was a huge success featuring world class performances by at least 44 competing contingents within and outside Cebu.

The Grand Finale featured the Kaplag or the discovery of the Holy Child Jesus with the brief history of Cebu.

Cebu City Mayor Michael L Rama was thankful to everyone who supported all the activities during the Sinulog. He reminded all to thank and honor Santo Niño as He is the reason why we celebrate Sinulog.

Rama enthuses that the Sinulog Festival will not be meaningful without the participation of the out-of-town contingents. As the chief executive of the city and at the same time the over-all chairman of the Sinulog 2015 celebration the mayor was very hands-on in taking good care of all aspects of the grand celebration.

Despite the Papal Visit and the threat of a bad weather, at least close to four million crowds coming from the different places here and outside the country joined and witnessed this year’s Sinulog celebration.

The concluding Mass of Pope Francis held at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila was also flashed in three big screen placed at the top and two sides of the stage at the Cebu City Sports Complex while the Sinulog Festival was also going on last January 18 Sunday.

Bearing its original slogan, “One Beat, One Dance, One Vision” and this year’s theme, "Santo Niño: Hope of the People" the Cebu’s coral celebration of Sinulog Festival turned out to be a huge success.

Furthermore, blessed with the miracles of Señor Sto. Niño, the good weather, the smooth flow of the activities with no major bad incident occurred coupled with the unity of leaders of the Church, the Cebu Provincial and City Governments and the support of the millions of Devotees of the Holy Child, the Sinulog 2015 has made a marked difference. (By: Greggy Jiggs P. Senados, PIO Staff)


Exclusive for Pedestrians

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(CEBU CITY - Public Information Office) - Starting today, six roads in the city are to be used exclusively for PEDESTRIANS for four days (Jan. 15 - 18, 2015). This is to decongest traffic going to Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.

These are:
1.) M.C. Briones St. 
2.) D. Jakosalem St.
3.) Lapu-Lapu St. 
4.) Burgos St.
5.) Legaspi Ext.
6.) Mabini Ext.

For churchgoers, PARKING is available at Compañia Maritima compound (at the back of City Hall).
NO PARKING ZONE within Plaza Sugbo (City Hall area).

FYI. For widest dissemination. Thank You!


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