A Malaysian-based company has signified its intention to invest in Dumaguete City under a lease-to-own scheme even as the group has already initiated partnerships with several local government units in the country for the construction of government centers.
Using his connections and networks and with a revised masterplan, Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo said he was successful in enticing would-be investors, like Vista Green Corporation, that offered to construct a waste processing and gasification plant at the garbage dumpsite in Candau-ay without expense of the city.
This week, a team from the MTD Philippines Inc. presented before the city council and department heads a proposal to construct the government center at no cost at all to the city of Dumaguete.
Under the lease-to-own scheme, the city shall provide the land which is about five hectares and the Malaysian-based company will do all the developments and the construction of infrastructure within the complex, that includes private businesses like hotels, and malls, among others.
City administrator Ricardo Gonzales said that under the proposal, the investors will have to manage the whole complex for 25 years, and will be the one to lease it out to interested private parties, including the city government at a discounted rate being the owner of the lot.
Aside from the acquisition of the lot which is fixed, the lease of the government center becomes an investment because at the end of the 25-year period, the city government will own the entire complex, Gonzales said.
He added that after 25 years, the investors expect to already recover their investments of about P1 billion, and to do away with the complex, including the infrastructure.
Under the revised masterplan, the proposed government center is in the Cadawinonan-Junob areas.
As to the timetable, Gonzales said the unsolicited proposal needs an ordinance for it to come up with a private public partnership so the city can go into this kind of venture.
On the part of the city council, Councilor Alan Gel Cordova said it will make sure the terms and conditions of the joint venture are clear and advantageous to the government.
He said a public private partnership is encouraged because government cannot do it alone, adding there's a need to look into the investment code to look into possible legislative measures needed for such undertaking.
Cordova assured Dumagueteños the city council will make sure the interest of the city is protected with regards to this project.*JG
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