Osmeña reluctant to spend more for City Hall renovations

Osmeña reluctant to spend more for City Hall renovations
By Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
Last updated 04:51pm (Mla time) 08/01/2007

Cebu City, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña on Tuesday expressed reluctance to allocate another P71.5 million for the renovation of the City Hall building.


Osmeña said the P106 million allocated over the past two years should have been enough to rehabilitate and reconfigure the edifice to serve as the city government’s legislative building.


“I personally feel that it’s too much,” the mayor said.


Councilor Nestor Archival earlier said renovation works that began more than a year ago were 80 percent complete.


To finish the project, the councilor said another P71.5 million was needed, mostly for the air conditioning system, a backup power generator, security and alarm systems, and new furniture for the session hall.


Archival said the city council hoped that renovation works would be completed by November 30 so that the legislative department could move in by December, and start 2008 using the newly refurbished building.


Earlier, Osmeña told the councilors that there would be no new furniture for the councilors, telling them to use their existing furniture once they move into the refurbished City Hall.


Osmeña said he was inclined to approve P25 million needed for the air conditioning system because he wanted to put to use a new system that he would introduce to future occupants of the South Road Properties.


Five units of this new air conditioning system, which the mayor called “chillers,” would be installed in the refurbished City Hall building, Osmeña said.


The mayor said he planned to fly to India sometime this month to see how these chillers are made.


He said City Hall is expected to save up to 80 percent on its electricity bill – most of which is for air conditioning – with the installation of the new systems.


While still undecided about the additional funds needed for the City Hall renovations, Osmeña said he would not change his mind about preventing sidewalk vendors from setting up stalls along Escario Street, in front of the Cebu Provincial Capitol.


The mayor said several motorists have already complained about the vendors, who usually gather on weekends to sell fruits and vegetables.


Osmeña said proper notification would be sent to the vendors before they would be prevented from setting up their stalls.


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