Mayor Fernandez taps controversial MC Adore Hotel funds to build new city hall
Dagupan City Hall is using the P119 million proceeds from the sale of the former MC Adore Hotel to fund the initial phase of the new government center or city hall to be built in Barangay Pantal here.
Councilor Jeslito Seen, chairman on the committee on appropriations, said Thursday that the amount formed part of the P126 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 the PHP126 million savings were P60 million to cover the cost of the initial construction of the planned government center; P25 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 P21 million to cover the cost for the road and site development of the government center.
The government will borrow between P500 million and P600 million to cover the deficit.
Mayor Fernandez explained on Wednesday that the proceeds of the sale of MC Adore were placed in 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 P50 million from the Assets Privatization Office purposely to build the city hall. It was sold by then Mayor Benjamin Lim in 2012.
Fernandez, who beat Lim in the 2013 election, decided to put the P119 million in a trust fund as she disputed the low valuation for the property which led to a court dispute with the buyer. The two parties have apparently settled their differences which prompted Fernandez to deploy the funds.
“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)
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