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    2 utility firms owe Capitol over P57 million in rental fees

    June 5, 2023 - Philippine Star News


      More than P57 million has been assessed by the Capitol as collectibles from at least two utility firms encroaching the province-owned lots along Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City.

      During the June 2 meeting of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia with the officials of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) and the Visayan Electric, said utility companies were informed of their obligation to the Capitol.

      Yvonne Gomos, the Capitol's consultant, made a presentation and said the MCWD has P44.5 million in obligation to the Capitol of its wells and distribution channels located in the 851.126 square meters lot of the Capitol for 48 years.

      The Capitol Information Office report said that from the said figure, 743. 206 square meters cover the Capitol lot in Osmeña Boulevard while the 107.92 square meters has been in another Capitol lot in Banilad since 1975.

      The lease rate along Osmeña Boulevard, according to Gomos, is P400 per square meter as of March 2023 while in Banilad area the lease is P500 per square meter.

      MCWD Chairman Jose Daluz III told Garcia that the water district is willing to pay the Capitol its obligation but requested they be given liberal paying terms.

      The governor responded positively and asked Daluz to submit a counter-proposal to the Provincial Economic Council for review.

      As to the Visayan Electric, the firm owes the Cebu Capitol P13.4 million for the said encroachment.

      According to Sugbo News, the news arm of the Cebu Provincial Government, the electric utility firm encroached a total of 473.49 square meters to the claimed Capitol lot along Osmeña Boulevard since 2004.

      The computation, according to the Capitol, is the rate per square multiplied by the total encroached land area and multiplied again by the height of the Visayan Electric's 14 primary and 13 secondary utility poles whose height reaches to 13 meters.

      Gomos said they use this year's current rental rate per square meter in their computation. They are also based on the Consumer Price Index to get the inflation rates in the previous years.

      Engr. Raul Lucero, the president of Visayan Electric, told the governor he would bring this matter to the board of directors of their firm considering that they have some questions as to the computation of their payable.

      For several months, the Capitol has been in coordination with the different firms and establishments whose structures are said to be encroaching in the Capitol claimed lots along Osmeña Boulevard.

      The Capitol is asking these establishments to give the Cebu Province 'a just compensation' for the said encroachment as the rightful owner of some lots along Osmeña Boulevard.

      The compensation expected to be received by the Capitol from these establishments will add to the Province's coffers. - (FREEMAN)


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