A COMMITTEE hearing on the proposed purchase of two properties worth P485 million by the Negros Occidental Provincial Government will be held on October 18.
Fifth district Board Member Alain Gatuslao, chairman of Provincial Board committee on laws, said the landowners of the two properties have decided not to go through with the sale, adding that the Provincial Government already received a letter from them about their intent to rescind the contract.
The Provincial Government is eyeing to buy a 25-hectare land in Barangay Matab-ang, Talisay City ,for P225 million, and the 40-hectare property in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City, for P260 million for its various projects, including land banking and residential houses.
The Capitol already paid P30 million in downpayment for each property, which is payable for three years.
Gatuslao said Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. is really serious in purchasing the properties through expropriation.
“In the hearing next week, the landowners will present their reasons why they cancelled (the sale), and the Provincial Legal Office will explain why we want to purchase the properties,” he said.
Considering that the landowners rescinded the contract, the Capitol is making a last-ditch effort to negotiate, he said.
“If they will not negotiate, the province will still buy the land through expropriation,” he added. “I think the governor wants to put the full amount (P485 million) already for both properties.”
The landowners said they will not go through with the sale because they may not be able to comply with the needed documents, including clearance from the Department of Agrarian Reform, on time as there is a timetable set for the Capitol projects.
“They’re not saying they could not get the documents, it might take too long or it will delay,” Gatuslao said.
Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the status quo will remain.
“We have authorized the provincial government to proceed with the purchase until such time it is rescinded,” he added.
Lacson said it is such a waste if the property in Mansilingan will not be acquired by the Capitol, as it is intended for the housing project for provincial government employees.
“As for Matab-ang, I was never convinced in the first place that we need that property,” he added.