DAGUPAN CITY — The proceeds of the sale by the city government of the former MC Adore Hotel in 2012 in the amount of PHP119 million was earmarked by the city council to fund the initial phase of the new government center or city hall to be built soon in Barangay Pantal here.
Councilor Jeslito Seen, chairman on the committee on appropriations, said Thursday that the amount formed part of the PHP126 million savings/surplus appropriated by the city council to fund a supplemental budget proposed by Mayor Belen T. Fernandez.
Appropriated by the city council from part of the PHP126 million savings were PHP60 million to cover the cost of the initial construction of the planned government center; another PHP25 million to cover the cost for the procurement of Consulting Services for the preparation of detailed architectural and engineering design and plan for the proposed construction of a new government center; and another PHP21 million to cover the cost for the road and site development of the government center.
But since the amount is still inadequate to complete the four-storey government center, it is likely that the city government will obtain a loan of PHP500 to PHP600 million.
Mayor Fernandez explained on Wednesday that the proceeds of the sale of MC Adore was put into a trust fund when she started her first term of office in 2013.
She said MC Adore was bought by the city government in mid 2005 at a bargain price of PHP50 million from the Assets Privatization Office purposely to build the city hall.
But the past city administration of then Mayor Benjamin Lim sold it in 2012 for PHP119 million.
Claiming that the price for MC Adore was a bit too low as compared to the prevailing prices of real estate in Dagupan’s downtown area at that time, Fernandez, who beat Lim in the 2013 election, decided to put the PHP119 million in a trust fund.
As an aftermath of the sale, the buyer of MC Adore and the city government filed charges against each other.
Councilor Seen believes the city government and the buyer of MC Adore have ironed out their problems, that is why the office of Mayor Fernandez allowed the use of PHP119 million proceeds of the sale to fund the newly approved supplemental budget.
Mayor Fernandez said MC Adore was bought by the city purposely to be made into a new Dagupan City hall but this was not realized when the city government sold this in 2012.
“It is only right that we should use the amount initially to construct a new government center to an area outside Dagupan’s business district,” Fernandez said.
The new city hall will replace the old Dagupan City hall that was built sometime in 1925, considered as the oldest city hall still being used today in the Philippines. PNA-northboundasia.com