Rama questions ‘reclaimed’ lot-A A +A
Sunday, October 20, 2013
NOT another Balili property.
This was the tenor of the letter Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama sent to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) informing the agency of a titled property that used to be submerged in water.
Rama cited the example of the controversial Balili property in the City of Naga, which was purchased by the Cebu Provincial Government and for which titles were issued despite part of the area being submerged in water.
“It’s like taking advantage of the weakness and sobriety of the government,” Rama told Sun.Star Cebu referring to his letter addressed to DENR 7 legal division head, Atty. Fernando Alberca.
Rama’s letter was labeled, “Controversial titling of submerged area and subsequent reclamation without authority of law.”
“It has come to our attention that a sizeable area, which used to be part of the municipal waters offshore of Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City was issued a title by the Register of Deeds in spite of the fact that it used to be a submerged portion of Cebu City’s municipal waters,” read Rama’s letter to Alberca.
The subject property was described as Lot 3987, with certificate of title 130140, and with a total land area of 35,486 square meters.
Rama said the property has been fenced without a fencing permit from the Cebu City Government.
Attached to the letter are two satellite photos taken of the property in question.
One was taken in 2005 and another was taken just this year. In the 2005 photo, the property in question was submerged in water and considered part of the “municipal waters” of Cebu City.
In the 2013 photo, the property was already reclaimed.
But Rama said there are no records of clearances and permits secured for the reclamation.
A permit from the Philippine Reclamation Authority is also needed in any reclamation project.
In a press conference last Friday, Rama said he wants a cease-and-desist order issued against further reclamation of the property.
He has tasked former councilor Jose Daluz III and Janeses Ponce to investigate the matter because the property is said to be “for sale” as can be gleaned from the sign posted in the area.
The two are lawyers and work as executive assistant IV under the Office of the Mayor.
Rama likened the matter with that of the Balili Property of the Provincial Government wherein DENR 7 filed a reversion case before the Office of the Solicitor General.
“To this end it is imperative for us to know what actions, if any, that your office will undertake towards the cancellation of this title and reversion of the property back to the people of Cebu City,” was Rama’s plea.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 20, 2013.