THE CITY Council approved a resolution waiving its counter claim over the accumulated rentals for the properties of the land owners in Tuba town when it operated the three Asin mini-hydropower plants from 2007 to October 2012.

The waiving of the city’s counter claim for damages is part of the compromise agreement entered between the concerned land owners and Mayor Mauricio Domogan when the city filed a civil case against the landowners for allegedly diverting the flow of the river from the powerplants sometime in 2008.

The local legislative body ordered the organization of the affected land owners to submit to the local government the list of beneificiary landowners who will receive the accumulated lease rentals so that the concerned offices of the city could release the funds directly to them.

City Budget Officer Leticia Clemente informed the local legislators the P2.7 million computed accumulated lease rentals of the city is held in trust and awaiting to be released to the landowners once the local legislative body approve the waiving of the city’s claims for damages.

The council tasked the city mayor to ensure the land owners comply with the submission of the validated list of beneficiaries of the accumulated lease rentals to avoid problems.

From 2007 to October 2012 when the local government was operating the Asin mini-hydropower plants after the expiration of the 25-year agreement with the Aboitiz-owned Davao Lights a year before, the city incurred a total of P2.7 million in accumulated rentals for the properties of the land owners affected by the operation of the power plants.

However, the local government filed before a local court a counter claim for damages over the accumulated lease rentals amounting to P2.1 million for damages it suffered when some of the land owners allegedly diverted the flow of the Asin river affecting the operation of the plants resulting in such computed losses.

Domogan and the land owners then entered into a compromise agreement for the local government to drop the civil case against the land owners after they apologized for their alleged drastic actions.

One of the conditions of the compromise agreement was for the land owners to seek the approval of the local legislative body in the waiving of its counter claim for damages over the computed lease rentals for the group to be able to get the full amount of the rentals.

It is only now the council has waived the city’s counter claims for damages over the accumulated lease rentals which were supposed to be given to the land owners even several years back but the local legislative body took time in deciding on the matter. (Dexter See/PIO)