By Jose Santino Bunachita
PIO Reporter

CEBU CITY (August 10, 2022) – The bulk of the used-up revenue from the sale of South Road Properties (SRP) lots were used to fund the City’s budgets from 2019 to 2021, the Local Finance Committee (LFC) reported.

It was during these years, under the administration of the late Mayor Edgardo Labella, that the city freely used the SRP sale revenue to fund its projects and programs, including addressing the CoViD pandemic.

Atty. Collin Rosell. (PIO/File)

However, Atty. Collin Rosell, secretary to the mayor, pointed out that the actual CoViD-related expense and typhoon Odette response expenses were much smaller compared to the total SRP lots sale funds appropriated during this time.

“Nagsunod-sunod ang paggamit, siguro grabe ang panginahanglan,” he said during a press briefing earlier this week.

“Apan, di ingon ana kadako,” he added.

Based on the LFC report, the city only spent P3.04 billion from 2020 to 2022 on all expenses related to CoViD. This included P2.21 billion in 2020, P705 million in 2021, and P125 million in 2022.

On the other hand, the city only spent a total of P1.08 billion for the financial subsidy and other expenses related to typhoon Odette in 2021 and 2022. Specifically, P686 million was spent in 2021 and P396 million in 2022.

Nagsunod-sunod ang paggamit, siguro grabe ang panginahanglan.

Atty. Collin Rosell, secretary to the mayor

In comparison, the city used around P9.25 billion of the SRP lots sale revenues to funds its budgets for the years 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Sought for comment, City Budget Officer Marietta Gumia explained that the rest of the revenue from the SRP lots sale was used to fund other projects and programs of the city, not necessarily related to CoViD and typhoon Odette.

City Hall officials and department heads, including members of the Local Finance Committee, met last August 8 to tell the public about the fiscal situation of the City Government. (PIO/File)

Based on records from the LFC, the entire P18.02 billion collected by the city from the sale of SRP lots had been all used up as early as first quarter of 2021.

From 2016 to 2018, during the term of former Mayor Tomas Osmeña, the city had also used around P1 billion from the interests from the sale of the two SRP lots.

The South Road Properties is an important property of ​​the City Government so the City Planning and Development Office will study carefully how to use it in the right way. (PIO/File)

This included P503 million in 2016; P335 million in 2017; and P167 million in 2018, although it was not clear in the LFC report where and how the funds were used then.

Atty. Rosell earlier lamented that the administration of Mayor Mike Rama has no more available cash to use for other projects and programs, when the mayor started his new term last July 1.

Rosell reported that from 2015 to 2019, the city collected P18.02 billion from the sale of SRP lots, which was actually initiated and pushed by Mayor Rama during his previous term as mayor in 2015.

Despite this, Rosell said the city will continue to work hard to generate new revenues to fund the City’s budgets in the next three years. #