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SOCA 2015: Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama's Audio Visual Presentation

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Last Updated on Monday, 17 August 2015 09:51
 

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)

Last Updated on Friday, 14 August 2015 08:57
 

City receives payment for SRP lots

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CEBU CITY, Philippines-Mayor Michael L. Rama announced during his press conference held earlier this afternoon at the Waterfront hotel, Mactan that the city officially received the 50% down payment for the two SRP lots from SM prime holdings, Ayala Land and Filinvest Land, Inc. The payment was made yesterday, August 12, 2015 in Metro Manila. 

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In total the city receives the amount of 8.375 billion which includes the 1.6 billion bid security bond that was already given to the City. The money will be deposited under the City of Cebu coffers. 

Mayor Rama thanked the investors for giving their trust and confidence in the City Government and he also thanked the people who prayed for a smooth transaction. (Cebu City Public Information Office/C.L.K.Aznar)

 

Last Updated on Friday, 14 August 2015 08:50
 

Rama inspires city's future leaders

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CEBU CITY, Philippines - "You will never be Youth forever, someday you will grow like me and always remember to be a Public Servant and not a (Foolitician) Politician,'' thus said Cebu City Mayor Michael Lopez Rama inspiring the present craft of Cebuano Young Leaders during the 2016 People's Budget Consultation Workshop for the Youth Sector held last Tuesday evening August 4, 2015 at Cebu Business Hotel. 

The People's Mayor asked the officers representing the various youth groups comprising the city on what comes to their mind when they hear the word "Politician" and everyone unanimously answered "Corruption". 

"That is my challenge to you, the future leaders of Cebu as this is a gathering of the Future, to help us in our mission which is to bring back the Hope of the Youth and the Children to trust again to the Government," the Mayor underscored, adding that life is what we make it and as Public Servants we must make a difference to the life of others. 

He said it is his dream to make the lives of the poor become better, the middle class comfortable and the rich not to control which must start from the young people who will be the next in line. 

Walking the talk, the mayor further enthuses that as a Public Servant he lives a simple life having no expensive cars, huge properties and has never engage in corrupt practices such as asking for kickbacks and commissions from government projects. He said he wanted to leave a legacy being a Public Servant whose heart demonstrate purity and whose mind perform clarity, millionaire in goodwill and billionaire in hard work. 

Meanwhile, the city's future leaders also aired out their brilliant ideas and suggestions on the priority projects they wanted to be implemented in 2016 and likewise on their roles to help the Cebu City Government in accomplishing the identified priority projects. They were divided into three groups for an interactive discussion and sharing of their outputs. 

Among the concerns raised were the improvement of the traffic, drainage and waste management, health, livelihood, education and employment; address the problems on beggars, street urchins, and drugs; increment of the minimum wage and access to free internet connection especially in the public areas; repair and maintenance of government facilities; and come up with sustainable and relevant youth programs and projects thrusts to the strengthening of the Cebu City Youth Development Commission to make it as exemplar, functional and responsive to the concerns of the youth. 

Borrowing former US President John F. Kennedy's famous statement, Dante Alburo Sarael Sumanting, one of the Youth leaders reminded everyone that, "Do not ask what your city government can do for you, ask what you can do for your city."

Furthermore, advocating for a 'Participatory Governance' the city government here lead by Mayor Rama is holding the 2016 People's Budget Consultation Workshop to the different Sectors in the city on August 3-5, 2015 at Cebu Business Hotel to come up with a comprehensive priority projects that will be included for the city's Annual Budget for 2016 which the Mayor described as Balance, Adequate, Responsive and Equitable or BARE budget. (Cebu City Public Information Office PIO/Greggy Jiggs P. Senados)
 


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