Tagoloan mayor wants to retake land at Peza area-A A +A
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
TAGOLOAN town is considering on taking back an estimated 6,000 hectares of land from Phividec Industrial Authority (PIA), Mayor Paulino Emano said in a chance interview during the visit of Vice President Jejomar Binay at the Housing Fair 2013 in Limketkai mall on September 27.
Emano said that Tagoloan, a first-class municipality, has a total land area of 7,938 hectares, most of it now falls under the jurisdiction of the PIA, a government-owned and -controlled corporation.
According to a government website investphilippines.gov.ph, PIA manages, administers and supervises the 3,000-hectare Phividec Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental (PIE-MO), located specifically in Tagoloan and Villanueva towns.
PIA was established on Aug. 13, 1974 by Presidential Decree (PD) 538 as amended by PD 1491.
The PIE-MO has been considered as one of the biggest industrial estates in the country.
Several industrial plants and establishments including the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) are located inside PIE-MO.
Governed by its laws, PIA has control over taxes and benefits from its tenants for decades which left the municipality with only a morsel of PIA's huge income.
Emano said PIA is mandated to identify and develop only 3,000 hectares of land as prospective industrial areas to be equipped with necessary infrastructures to encourage the inflow of domestic and foreign investments.
He said PIA has taken 1,500 hectares of land from Tagoloan and the other 1,500 hectares from Villanueva.
However, Emano said PIA is now occupying more than what is required and that out of Tagoloan’s 10 barangays along the shoreline, four are fully under the PIA’s control leaving the town with only two coastal village.
“The boundary dispute and overlapping of land are clear manifestations that PIA has violated the law,” he said.
Emano said his legal counsel has already prepared the documents that could prove his claim, adding that he is confident that justice will be on their side.
Emano said he will have a final meeting with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regarding the final assessment of the land supposedly overlapped by PIA.
“I hope to gain the approval of the court by taking back the land due (to) the municipality as well as the long overdue interests enjoyed by PIA that was supposed to be for our municipality,” he said.
Emano added that if they will win the case against PIA part of what they will turn over is the MCT.
For his part, Jerome Soldevilla, Steag communications officer said putting up a business inside the PIE-MO has its advantages, “since our company in Villanueva is under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) area, part of the privilege is the tax-free incentive.”
Steag State Power is a coal-fired power plant which is located at the PIA area in Villanueva.
“Even our real property tax is waived,” he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 01, 2013.