At least seven garbage trucks will be moved out of the Capitol-owned 577-square-meter property near Fuente Circle as soon as possible.
Capitol Site Barangay Captain Manuel Guanzon gave Gov. Gwen Garcia this assurance during their meeting at the Capitol on Thursday, May 4, as the Provincial Government is already looking to utilize this premium lot located near a mall and a leading tertiary hospital near the Fuente area.
The governor said Capitol has been sending formal requests to the barangay for over a year now, asking them to transfer their vehicles to a city-owned property, such as the city’s motor pool and storage facility at the South Road Properties.
But Capt. Guanzon said they would have to involve the Commission on Audit in the situation since they are planning to auction off some of the vehicles that are no longer serviceable.
The governor clarified, however, that the COA need not be involved since what the Capitol is asking is for the vehicles’ transfer to another storage facility, and not their disposal through competitive bidding.
Gov. Garcia added they could do their bidding at the relocation site, since the auction — which could take some time — could further delay the implementation of the Capitol’s plans for the area.
Mark Jason Tirol, COA Cebu Province auditing team OIC, agreed with the governor’s position, and even advised Capt. Guanzon to heed the governor’s request to avoid legal complications, especially that the Province, as the legal owner of the property, has every right under the law to demand rent from the barangay for the usage of its property.
The barangay has been parking its vehicles at the Capitol property for some time now since the property became part of the land-swap deal between the Province and Cebu City during the administration of former governor and now Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III.
Gov. Garcia, however, cancelled the agreement when she came back to the Capitol in 2019, and the Capitol once again regained possession of this premium piece of lot in the city.
As a matter of policy, Gov. Garcia is doing an accounting of Capitol-owned lots, especially those in Cebu City, and finds for ways to transform these into income-generating enterprises that could supply a steady stream of revenue for the Province long after her term in office expires for the benefit of the Province’s constituents now and in the future.
As a sign of good faith, the Capitol will be helping the barangay in transferring their vehicles to another venue by sending much-needed machineries such as forklifts and trailer trucks. | Ioannes P. Arong