Briones: Another outside investor?

It looks like Cebu City has found yet another would-be benefactor in the name of Dennis Anthony Uy.

The founder of Converge ICT Solutions Inc., a fiber internet service provider, is reportedly “keen” on helping Mayor Michael Rama achieve the latter’s Singapore-like vision for the city by getting rid of spaghetti wires and making the city more disaster-resilient.

Apparently, the mayor had asked for his opinion on the matter and told the former to start with telecom wires that are no longer active.

I initially thought Uy would actually sink his money into one of Rama’s ambitious plans, but it would appear he was only offering free advice.

Still, if realized, the city would definitely look better without the tangled wires that also serve as eyesores.

The operative word here is “if.”

You see, Uy is not the first tycoon to offer his help to the City Government under Rama’s leadership.

Since winning the mayoral election last year, Rama embarked on a whirlwind “investment-begging” tour to solicit financial assistance from various entrepreneurs in the National Capital Region.

His first round of begging “yielded over P1.3 billion worth of funding, of which P800 million would be used to help complete the construction of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), while P575 million would go towards the construction of five medium-rise buildings for socialized housing.”

Last August, the City Public Information Office announced that business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan had pledged P100 million to complete a floor of the CCMC.

In November, the City canceled the contract with the CCMC contractor, citing the delays in the construction of the 10-story building.

The mayor then announced that the City would work with a still unnamed private entity to complete the hospital, at no cost to the City, by the end of 2023 after spending almost P2 billion on the project.

Last September, Rama reportedly secured a commitment from ports and casino tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., also chairman of the Manila Water Co., to fund and build a dam in the city within three years and sell water at a low price to consumers.

It was welcome news to a city whose residents suffer water shortages during the summer and flooding during the rainy season.

At the end of October, the billionaire, through one of his subsidiaries Manila Water Philippine Ventures, formalized his intent to submit an unsolicited proposal to develop a bulk water supply project using the Mananga River.

The unsolicited proposal was supposed to have been submitted last February, but not much has been heard about the project.

So what happened?

For all we know, things are underway, which is why it is important for the City to provide the public with updates on these commitments before it drops another bombshell.

Nobody wants to remember Rama as the mayor who did not deliver on his promises.