City Council to take up lot swap deal with Magpale

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The Cebu City Council decided yesterday to revive the land swap proposal with the provincial government.

In a resolution filed by Councilor Alvin Dizon, the City Council wanted to initiate “genuine” dialogue with Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale on the lot swap deal involving the Capitol lots in Cebu City under Provincial Ordinance 93-1.

However, Mayor Michael Rama warns the council not to overstep on the functions of the chief executive.

“If there is a dialogue that should never come from the legislative department. That should start from the executive,” he said.

Rama said while he supports “anything that will lead to solving the 93-1 concerns,” he is against the lot swap deal being championed by his political rival, the south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña.

Around 5,000 informal settlers are living in these lots in Cebu City.

Under the proposed lot swap, City Hall would swap these prime commercial lot in Lot 27 of the North Reclamation Area.

This idea was first proposed in Osmeña’s last term as mayor.

Rama is supporting the initiative of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to have these lands covered by the government’s socialized housing program.

Prior to her suspension, Governor Garcia inked agreements with 93-1 homeowners association for the mortgage of the lots under the socialized housing program of the government.

The initiative is supported by Vice President Jejomar Binay who heads the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) that oversees the government’s housing program.

Rama said, City Hall stands to lose in the lot swap deal as lot 27 in the North Reclamation Area can earn the city P675 million at current market value of P20,000 per square meter. Lot 27 is located across the Cebu International Port.

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