More city-owned properties found

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Monday, March 17, 2014


THE City Government of Bacolod is starting to uncover more of its properties after Mayor Monico Puentevella announced last week that they have petitioned before the court for the Philippine National Bank (PNB) to release the titles of the 68 lots purchased by the city from the bank.

Lawyer Cesar Beloria of the City Legal Office (CLO) said these properties have become “non-performing assets” even if these large tracts of land could have been used for the various needs of the City Government.

These properties could have been utilized for a dumpsite and a relocation area, said Beloria, who heads Assets Management Case Review Committee.
There would have been no need for the city to get a loan for these projects, he added.

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During the administration of former mayor and now Representative Evelio Leonardia, the City Government purchased lots for a sanitary landfill in Barangay Felisa and relocation sites in Barangays Granada and Vista Alegre.

Beloria first worked with the CLO under the Leonardia administration, and Puentevella retained his services when the mayor assumed office in July last year.

He added that on top of the 68 properties bought by the City Government from PNB, there are 131 more titles forfeited in the name of the City of Bacolod.

The owners failed to pay the real property taxes and these were auctioned off. However, since there was no bidder, the city became the owner of these lots, Beloria said.

The total value of the properties is still being determined by the City Assessor's Office.

Beloria admitted that indeed it was former CLO officer Joselito Bayatan who first found out about the 68 properties and filed the case for the recovery of these lots.

The case was not moving though and the former administration also failed to take action on forfeited properties, he said.

Puentevella had earlier said the properties purchased from the PNB are worth P12.5 million.

“We are now trying to consolidate, review and acquire back our city properties,” the mayor said. “We need these assets back for the people of Bacolod. These should go back to where they belong. Let us not borrow money anymore. Let us dispose these assets.” (NLG)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 17, 2014.

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