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Lapu-Lapu eyes BOT, bidding for P10-B reclamation project

First Posted 08:54:00 07/26/2008

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The Lapu-Lapu city government won?t secure a loan to finance its ambitious P10- billion Mactan North Reclamation Development Project (MNRDP).

According to a project brief prepared by local officials, the MNRDP will be implemented either on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis or a joint venture with the winning bidder.

Officials also asked why objections were focused on the Lapu-Lapu reclamation project, when two other similar projects in Mandaue city and Consolacion town didn?t need approval from the Regional Development Council (RDC),

?Why are we being singled out?? asked Lapu-Lapu City Deputy Attorney Michael Dignos.

He said that the reclamation project will proceed even without RDC endorsement.

Attempts by Lapu-Lapu city officials to conduct their briefing of the MNRDP were shot down by Cebu provincial officials in last Thursday?s RDC special session.

Instead, the RDC chaired by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia voted 31 to 1 to pass two resolutions asking President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to defer implementation of the MNRDP and to consider input from the RDC 7.

Dignos said the Lapu-Lapu city government is processing its application for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

?They cannot compel us to stop, even if the President (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) will take notice of their resolution,? Dignos said.

Lapu-Lapu City already has written approval of the President and signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Reclamation Authority for the project last April 27 during the city?s Kadaugan sa Mactan event.

The only other approval needed, Dignos, said is from Lapu-Lapu city?s local development council.

?Where is our local autonomy if we still have to get approval from the RDC?,? Dignos said.

He also dismissed allegations that the MNRDP would constrict water flow in the Mactan Channel.

Dignos said a map of the project shows that the Lapu-Lapu reclamation project touches the Mactan channel at the Magellan Bay.

Dignos said other reclamation projects in Mandaue City and Consolacion town should also be looked into because they are built on the Mactan Channel.

He said these two projects didn?t need RDC approval because they are funded locally like the proposed MNRDP.

?We were surprised why they (RDC) are moving heaven and earth to stop the project. Why are we being singled out?? he asked.

Dignos saidthe Mandaue city government started reclaiming eight out of 300 hectares without any RDC approval.

He said Mandaue only has approval from the PRA.

?Our planning and development Officer Perla Amar, who constantly attends the RDC meetings, said she has never seen Mandaue or Consolacion's reclamation projects go through approval by the RDC,? Dignos said.

In a separate interview, Mandaue City Administrator Briccio Joseph Boholst was noncomital.

?I have no information as of now because it was planned during the previous administration...I think we secured RDC approval but we will still have to check,? Boholst said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Consolacion officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Lapu-Lapu city?s briefing paper said the reclamation project won?t affect plans of the province to set up an international seaport in nearby Liloan town.

It also said Lapu-Lapu city will continue to coordinate with government agencies for the reclamation project?s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which is due to be completed by November this year.

If a public bidding is held, the reclamation project will be bidded out according to conditions set by Lapu-Lapu city and the PRA.

?(The bidding won?t) repeat the scheme done by the City of Cebu on the South Reclamation Project that subjected the city to heavy burden in loan repayments. In the meantime there are still no locators in the area,? it said.

The bulk of the P10.2- billion project cost will go to civil works. The rest will go for the compliance or requirements and the conduct of surveys and engineering works.

Lapu-Lapu City envisions multi-purpose use for the reclamation project.

A portion facing the Mactan Channel will solely be allocated for the establishment of commercial, luxury and fastcraft wharfs.

Interior lots will be for commercial and industrial use and the establishment of warehouses.

Lots located near barangays Mactan and Punta Engaño will be set aside for tourism and the establishment of resorts, according to the proposal.

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