The Cebu Provincial Government has formalized its donation of a 3,000 square-meter lot to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Governor Hilario P. Davide III and DOJ Secretary Emmanuel Caparas signed the deed of donation on May 19 at the Capitol.
Vice Governor Agnes Magpale and Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane signed as witnesses. Provincial Board Members Celestino Martinez III, Jude Thaddeus Durano-Sybico, Christopher Barricuatro, and Grecilda Sanchez-Zaballero, and the Cebu-based DOJ lawyers also attended the activity.
The lot is located in Barangay Guadalupe. The area covers a building formerly occupied by the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7.
The DOJ is set to construct its own building in the area to house its regional offices and other attached offices. These are Regional Prosecutor’s office, Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office, and the Public Attorney’s Office.
Some of the prosecutors continue to hold office in the Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan Hall of Justice in the provincial Capitol compound. This, despite the fact that the building was declared unsafe and unfit for occupancy after the October 15, 2015 earthquake damaged it.
The province is the lot owner of the abandoned Palace of Justice. Governor Davide said he told Caparas of the province’s intention to take-over the structure for more Capitol offices. He said the Capitol is willing to shoulder the expenses for retrofitting or even for the construction of a new building in the area.
Caparas responded that he would have to talk to Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno about the governor’s plan. The SC courthouse was transferred to Quimonda building along the S. Osmeña in the North Reclamation Area.
“The whole underpinning of this meeting, my coming here and accepting the donation is really so that we can help one another deliver our services to the public better. And if that will help them deliver services to all of you in Cebu, then why not. We want to help as well,” he said.
Caparas estimated the cost for a four-storey building could reach up to P100 million. He was hopeful that it would be enough to house all their offices in the region. He said they already have a budget for the building and wanted to start the construction within the year.