Sale of Apas lots to residents hinges on AFP turnover to Capitol: Garcia-A A +A
Thursday, October 25, 2012
THE Cebu Provincial Government will immediately sell to at least 2,000 residents of Barangay Apas, Cebu City the lands they are occupying within the military reservation area once the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) finally turns over Camp Lapu-Lapu back to Capitol ownership.
In an interview, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the residents listed by Malacañang as beneficiaries of their occupied lots under Presidential Proclamation 409 want to buy the properties.
However, Garcia said the residents cannot buy the lots until the AFP turns over to the Cebu Provincial Government the 81 hectares, a portion of which the residents occupy.
Records showed that Garcia and then Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro signed a
memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Oct. 12, 2009 that allows the formal turnover of the Central Command property to the Provincial Government.
Earlier, on Oct. 12, 2008, Centcom and the Province signed a memorandum of understanding turning over the property to Capitol.
In signing the MOA, Teodoro agreed that it is not proper to maintain a military camp in the middle of a busy business area where they could not conduct military exercises.
The MOA was also based on the Province’s donation of the 81-hectare land for military use in 1959, with the condition that ownership of the property would revert to Capitol once it is no longer used for military purposes.
Included in the MOA is the sale of lots intended for socialized housing to their occupants, Garcia said.
She had several meetings with the residents attended by officials of Pag-Ibig and other government lending agencies and they have agreed that the Provincial Government will sell the lots to them.
“But they are in limbo at present. We can only sell the lots to them if the AFP will turn over the 81 hectares to us. The AFP cannot sell the lots to them because under the MOA, the properties should be turned over to the Provincial Government,” Garcia said.
“The final turnover of the lands from the military to Capitol is the solution to the problem of the residents. Because once the turnover is done, we will immediately sell them the lots they are occupying,” Garcia added.
On the other hand, the 81 hectares minus the socialized housing site will be developed into a business center.
“This will be an added economic activity to boost the economy of Cebu further. This will be developed under the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) program by the interested parties, and there are so many of them,” Garcia said.
Also under the MOA, Centcom will be transferred to the Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base, where the Cebu Provincial Government will construct military buildings such as the administrative offices, hospital, armory and supply room.
However, Garcia said the technical working group tasked to identify the location and to design the structures, among others, seemed slow in doing its tasks.
“We will give more than the amount involved to enhance and accelerate the replication job and transfer of Centcom to Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base,” Garcia said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 25, 2012.