Supreme Court wants P1.5B complex in Cebu
CEBU, Philippines — The Supreme Court of the Philippines plans to construct a P1.5 billion Judiciary Complex on a 15,000-square-meter lot at the South Road Properties next year.
This will push through should the City Council and City Mayor Tomas Osmeña approve the proposed ordinance transferring ownership of the parcel of land to SC.
The proposed ordinance is penned by City Councilor Sisinio Andales.
“There is a need to build a new and iconic Hall of Justice in Cebu City, which is envisioned to be part of a Judiciary Complex that will house all the courts in Cebu City including the trial courts and the Court of Appeals, and include a hearing room for the Sandiganbayan and offices for the Supreme Court,” reads Andales’ proposal.
In 2010, the legislative body already passed a resolution approving the donation of a 7,123-square-meter lot at the northeast side of the SRP for the Court of Appeals-Cebu Station building.
Both the SC and the city formalized the donation through a Memorandum of Agreement on the same year.
But Andales said the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Central Visayas, including Cebu City, in 2013 weakened the structural integrity of the Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan Hall of Justice at the Capitol compound, which paved the way for other courts and justice sector offices to relocate to other areas temporarily.
Andales said Osmeña agreed initially to donate a larger area for the Judiciary Complex of the SC, as the high court has agreed to give back the 7,123-square-meter lot donated initially upon the issuance of a new Certificate of Title.
The 15,000 square meter property is located at the southwest part of SRP or Lot 9 of the Consolidated Subdivision Plan.
During the public hearing last Tuesday, SC Administrator Jose Midas Marquez thanked the city government for responding positively to the request of the higher court.
“If we will be able to have the ordinance before the year ends, we envision to start processing for the construction of the Judiciary Complex within the first quarter of 2019,” he said, adding, that SC requested for a bigger property so that all court and justice offices will be put in one complex.
Marquez said the complex will include a training center for judges and court personnel, Regional Trial Court, Court of Appeals, among others.
SC has allotted P1.5 billion for the construction of the complex.
Marquez vowed that the SC will return the previously donated 7,123 square meter to the city government once the 15,000 square meter will be approved. —/JMO (FREEMAN)