Typhoon delays negotiations for land swap deal 93-1
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Super Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) and post-storm recovery efforts significantly affected the negotiations of the 93-1 Land Exchange Agreement between the Cebu City Government and the Cebu Provincial Government.
Cebu City Councilman Raymond Alvin Garcia, who is leading the negotiations on behalf of the city, told CDN Digital that the typhoon negated the 93-1 deal target.
The councilor promised negotiations would be completed by December 2021, but the super typhoon caused massive damage to the city.
READ: Councilor Garcia promises ‘Merry Christmas’ to affected 93-1 residents
“Unsaon man nga pag December 16, we had the worst typhoon. We had to focus our energy on rehabilitation efforts. So 93-1 had to take a back seat,” Garcia said.
The councilor said he met with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to discuss the mayor’s direction regarding the negotiations.
He has been ordered to continue negotiations, but at this time he cannot say how long the negotiations will last.
However, he assured that negotiations will continue in the coming weeks and months so that the exchange is finally finalized.
“There were a lot of events that happened like the death of Mayor (Edgardo) Labella and the typhoon. I hope makasabot lang atong mga beneficiaries nga wala ta ni gilangay. We will take a resolution aroj masulbad na gyod ni once and for all,” the councilor said.
At least 5,000 families are affected by the land swap.
The landswap was renegotiated because the agreement signed by the previous administration of former mayor Tomas Osmeña and former governor now vice-governor Hilario Davide, III, was flagged by the Audit Commission (COA) .
READ: Garcia: New 93-1 deal will follow COA rules
Garcia said ongoing negotiations will not affect other projects such as the planned water treatment facility in the North Reclamation Area (NRA) by the Metropolitan Water District (MCWD).
The majority and minority of the city council argued over the use of the land as it is part of the land swap agreement.
The minority floor, specifically Councilman Eugenio Gabuya, Jr., said the city cannot authorize the use of the property due to the land swap.
However, Garcia assured that as long as the title to the property rests with the city government, the city has the right to approve the use of a sewage treatment facility.
“We need this processing facility. The title deed still belongs to the city government, so it is at our discretion to use it,” he said.
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