WHAT'S GOING ON?
On 07 July 2021, the City Council of Dumaguete passed a resolution granting authority to Mayor Felipe Antonio B. Remollo to accept, enter into, and sign the DRAFT JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT with E.M. Cuerpo, Inc. (EMC), a duly organized corporation of the Philippines, represented by its president, Architect Celerino S. Cuerpo.
This project involves a proposed 174 hectare reclamation through a Private Sector Partnership (PSP) parallel along the shoreline of the city with no money involved from the city coffer. The proposal will create a new dimension of a “Smart City” in Dumaguete.
The development includes 5G ready connections, coastal wastewater treatment facility, shoreline, slope and water protection, esplanades, modern ferry boat, Marina and open area for sports facility, hospitals, residential, condominiums, malls and other business hubs.
The reclamation works will be fully implemented not more than three years from the PSP’s receipt of the Notice to Proceed. (Sec. 3.6)
Immediately after the granting of authority, opposition from various sectors of society came out.
On 14 July 2021, the City Council voted to re-affirm the authority granted to Mayor Remollo to sign and enter into the joint venture agreement with E.M. Cuerpo Inc. and issued a resolution expressing “NO OBJECTION” to the project and granting authority to the Mayor to apply, on behalf of the City, a Letter of Intent to the Philippine Reclamation Authority.
CITY OF DUMAGUETE
E.M. CUERPO, INC
97th Regular Session of the 31st Sangguniang Panlungsod
July 21, 2021 (Part 1)
Presentation to the City Council by Atty. Golda Benjamin
Timeline of Events
E.M. Cuerpo, Inc. submitted an Unsolicited Proposal (UP) to reclaim 174 hectares of offshore land fronting Dumaguete City coastline costing PHP 27.343 Billion
Pursuant to the Dumaguete City PPP Code of 2016, Mayor Remollo issued E.O. No. 21 (s. 2019) creating the City PPP Selection Committee [with the responsibility of overseeing the pre-bidding and bidding of solicited proposals (SPs) or the comparative bidding process (Swiss challenge) in unsolicited proposals (UPs)]
Pursuant to Mayor Remollo's Office Order No. 637 (s. 2016), the PPP Selection Committee was directed to make an initial review of the UP of E.M. Cuerpo, Inc. and to submit a report on or before January 18, 2020
Technical Working Groups (TWGs) were constituted within the PPP Selection Committee (as per the 2016 PPP Ordinance, TWGs are project-based groups which shall provide technical support)
LGU-Dumaguete City sought assistance from Public-Private Partnership Center - the PPP Center (the government agency tasked to oversee all PPP projects in the country by virtue of E.O. No. 8, s. 2010)
The PPP Selection Committee made its preliminary Committee Report on E.M. Cuerpo, Inc.'s UP
PPP Center gave its initial project evaluation of E.M. Cuerpo, Inc.'s UP, making some recommendations on perceived deficiencies of its UP
There were successful negotiaions between E.M. Cuerpo, Inc. and LGU-Dumaguete leading to the refinement of the UP
E.M. Cuerpo, Inc. submitted the revised UP to LGU-Dumaguete city
Because of the COVID-19 National Health Emergency, the UP was stalled indefinitely.
A new PPP ordinance was enacted called A City Code Pursuing a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Approach Towards Development, Providing for the Procedure for Selecting the Private Sector Proponent, Adopting a Contract Management Framework, and Providing Appropriations and for Other Purposes or the "City of Dumaguete PPP Code"
The City of Dumaguete PPP Code was approved by the Mayor
The PPP Selection Committee met again about the UP
A "Swiss Challenge" was initiated by LGU-Dumaguete through publication of the Invitation to Apply for Eligibility and to Submit Comparative Proposal (IAESCP) in the Business World
Deadline for potential Swiss Challengers to submit their Expressions of Intent to "outbid" the UP of E.M. Cuerpo, Inc.
There were no challengers
The PPP Selection Committee and its resource persons (observers) and TWGs unanimously signed Resolution No. 1 (s. 2021) recommending to the City Mayor to give the Notice of Award ot the reclamation project and development of the same, in favor of E.M. Cuerpo, Inc.
E.M. Cuerpo, Inc. was instructed to provide the Performance Security equivalent to 1% of the total project cost (roughly PHP 23.354 Million)
Dumaguete City Council passed a resolution granting authority to Mayor Remollo to accept, enter into, and sign the "DRAFT JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT" with EMCI regarding the reclamation project
The project became public knowledge during the first week of July (as per the post by Yes The Best Dumaguete, a news and media station in Dumaguete City)
Dumaguete Government listed its arguments on the reclamation project
Note: On July 17, 2021, the "LUPAD Dumaguete ''City of Gentle People''" Facebook Page also posted a summary of the proposed project (similar to the arguments)
Dumaguete City Council gave authority to Mayor Remollo to sign a "Memorandum of Understanding" with construction firm E.M. Cuerpo, Inc. on the reclamation project
The City Council withdrew the “NO OBJECTION” resolution. However, they sustained the grant of authority to the Mayor to enter into the MOU with EMC as well as the grant of authority to the Mayor to apply, on behalf of the City, an LOI to the PRA.
The City Council issued a resolution directing EMC to submit its official answers to the issues and concerns regarding the reclamation project and to furnish the pertinent documents in support to its answers.
Articles and Interviews about the project.
The Philippine Star
Yes FM Dumaguete
Dumaguete's Marine Life
Photos by Mr. Carl Rey Cabetingan
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