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Referendum for Tagbilaran Growth Center
« on: November 26, 2007, 02:35:35 PM »
By Kit Bagaipo
The Bohol Chronicle

City Mayor Dan Lim yesterday declared that he will subject the new city growth center to a referendum to allow the people the opportunity to take part in the decision-making process.

The new growth center concept had been questioned by some city residents whose lots are within the project area including a group of geodetic engineers who expressed doubts over the project's feasibility.

Speaking during his weekly "Mayor's Report" over dyRD, Lim said that the development program would be pursued only if it gets the support and confidence of Tagbilaran residents.

The mayor said he wants the issue discussed thoroughly particularly the pros and cons of the project so the people will understand it clearly.

Lim revealed that the project, which will be the centerpiece of the city's development thrust in the next 20 years, will require some P350-million for the land acquisition component alone.

He said the project will require 12.5 hectares for the road network while another 12 hectares will be set aside for the industrial zone.

Lim said this requirement will need a sizable appropriation so that the city will be able to offer a good price for the lot owners.

"This is to show our respect for the land owners who will be required to give up their lands for the said purpose. Let us bear in mind that they did not offer their lands, it is the city that requested for this," he revealed.

The total cost of the project will run up to P750-million, the mayor bared.

Due to the size of the project and the amount involved, the city will have to enter into a loan to finance the new growth center, Lim said.

A copy of the new growth center development implementation strategies provided to the Chronicle showed that the loan will require payment amounting to 8-percent annually for 15 years.

This means that the city will be paying P28-million every year for interest alone.

Lim however pointed out that there is no such thing as a free ride in this world and that a project of this magnitude will require sacrifices and sound financial management.

He admitted that it is not easy to enter into a loan, the reason why he did not want the city to borrow in his first three years.

"It is not because the city cannot pay but because I have to pay off the loans that I inherited from the previous administrations. While I am not aware how those loans were spent, I am obligated to pay them as part of my responsibilities," the mayor added.

The mayor said the city is like a man who has to cross a deep cliff because he is being chased by wild animals. To be able to do that however, he has to walk across a single piece of wood.

"He needs to walk across slowly because he might fall into the cliff. On the other hand, if he won't cross it, the wild animals will be able to catch up with him," he said.

Lim said progress is waiting on the other side but crossing the cliff is dangerous.

He stressed that if the city will not do this now, the problems due to past failures like traffic because of undersized streets, flash floods due to the absence of a drainage system and the failure to attract investors who will improve the economy and the people's lives will catch up with Tagbilaran.

"In all this, let us bear in mind that we are doing all of this for the next generation," Lim pointed out.

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Re: Referendum for Tagbilaran Growth Center
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2007, 05:18:21 PM »


Putting the project on a referendum is a good idea to get the pulse of the people. There should be a thorough discussion on the pros and cons before the referendum. Among the points that should be thoroughly discussed are the following:

1. The feasibility of the road network design. As published in the newspapers, the new growth center shall have two set of circular roads with rays of straight roads (imagine two spider webs, one bigger than the other). Question: Is this circular road design (with a series of rings within with decreasing diameter) cost efficient in terms of the cost of acquiring the land for the road networks and the available lot to be sold for developers? How safe is this design in terms of vehicular traffic and, in case a driver would accidentally lose control of his steering wheel compared to straight roads?

2. On the total cost that the city will have to invest, is this for the road network only or including the lots where structures will be built?

3. Was there a feasibility study which is the bases of the design?

4. Was it considered that the project will be implemented in phases instead of all at one time?


 



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P770-Million Tagbilaran Growth Center

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