ILOILO CITY, Philippines
24 October 2008
- The Freedom from Debt Coalition-Iloilo Chapter has again denounced the Treñas-Mabilog administration this time on the issue of the proposed construction of the New Iloilo City Hall at the Old Iloilo Airport.
"Acquiring a lot for a New City Hall Complex at the old Iloilo Airport could have been the first option of the Iloilo City Government before it favored that this prime government lot be sold to a private entity," said FDC
"By doing so, the City government could not have displaced its offices indefinitely; it could have saved more than a million pesos as expenses for the demolition of the old building, and it could have preserved the old City Hall as a government asset given its appraised value of 24-million," claimed FDC
While the City Government believes that the new deal is a "win-win" situation, the group believes in contrary, saying that the new deal is "another blunder of the Treñas administration."
In March 2007, the group released a position paper urging the City Government to acquire a 10-hectare share of the lot at the old Iloilo Airport as an area for a New Iloilo City Hall Complex before it is made available for bidding April of the same year.
The position paper states that the Old Iloilo Airport is a better option as compared to the old site in the downtown area for it provides the following:
- A vast space for a building. Instead of a five-storey, it could accommodate a wide two-storey edifice which could house all government offices and friendly for our senior citizens, the handicapped and the physically challenged;
- Convenience for it is located right at the heart of the city;
- A good view of Iloilo City's business district;
- A room for expansion and for trees, plants and gardens; and,
- A wide parking space.
Likewise, "the paper states that it is also consistent with the development idea of the City Government to develop the area as a regional hub with recreational park, Information Technology park, convention center and hospital."
Recently, Iloilo Mayor Jerry Treñas stated that the Old Iloilo Airport is an ideal site for a new City Hall for it provides ample space for the City Government's offices and parking.
"We believe that prime government lots must not all be privatized but should be wisely managed by the government and must be utilized in improving government's quality of service to its constituents," stressed FDC.
The government has failed in protecting public interest by selling the lot to a private entity. Where in the world can you encounter a City Government which favors a prime government property sold to a private entity and later buy a portion from its buyer?," asked Ted Aldwin Ong, secretary-general of FDC-Iloilo.
"Our City Government has not been making intelligent decisions. The impulsive tendency of Mayor Treñas has put the City Government in an awkward position as far the City Hall deal is concerned," added Ong.
"This deal is another blunder for the Treñas administration for its manifests its poor vision of development for the city," concluded by FDC. -30-
Freedom from Debt Coalition-Iloilo Chapter
Apt D., Gerochi Law Office Compound, La Paz District
5000 Iloilo City, Philippines
Telefax: (63-33) 508-2028
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Atty. Romeo P. Gerochi, Chairperson, @ +63 919 575 5658
Ted Aldwin Ong, Secretary General, @ +63 915 774 7413