Cebu execs cautious on Mactan bill
TOP Cebu officials called for further study of the proposed Mactan province bill of Lapu-Lapu Rep.-elect Aileen Radaza, saying it would have to pass through extensive deliberations and consultations to Cebuanos and their officials.
Acting Cebu Gov. Agnes Magpale said the bill will take sometime to deliberate because all six Cebuano legislators will have to study it.
“It is very interesting and I am listening to the sentiments of local officials and Cebuanos,” she said.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, whose daughter Aileen would shepherd the bill in Congress, said the creation of a Mactan province would mean the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) would be distributed to the city and several towns.
In Radaza’s bill, Lapu-Lapu City will be downgraded into a component city while Olango Island and 11 barangays will be upgraded to towns once Mactan becomes a province.
“(Cordova Mayor Adelino) Sitoy is all for it. But it will take time because it means reconfiguring the whole province. Every Cebuano, including the businessmen should be consulted on this,” Magpale said during yesterday’s 888 News Forum.
Mayor Radaza said while Lapu-Lapu City, a lone congressional district, has an annual budget of 1.5 billion, only P600 million goes to programs and projects while 45 percent of the budget is allocated to salaries and operating expenses.
Radaza also denied allegations by losing mayoral bet Ephraim Pelaez that the bill will expand the Radaza family’s political influence to areas covered under Mactan province.
“We cannot fill all of these positions in a component city and two new towns including positions in the province,” she said.
Nigel Paul Villarete, general manager of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) should merge rather than break away for optimal urban efficiency.
Villarete said he made a study on the “metropolitanization of Cebu” in 1995 and led an integrated development master plan two years later.
“We need to update that. So many things have changed but the basic development framework is the same,” he said.
“I’m sure there will be consultation – people, leaders and ordinary citizens can voice their views,” the airport chief said. With Correspondent Norman V. Mendoza and Deputy Editor Stephen Capillas
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