NINE years after it expropriated the property, Cebu City Hall agreed to a final settlement with the heirs of Matilde S. Paltilde and will release the final payment of P12 million next week.

Instead of paying the balance of P14.6 million, the City accepted the offer of the Palictes to pay only P12 million provided it is paid immediately and directly to them.

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City Attorney Joseph Bernaldez said Mayor Tomas Osmeña agreed to the offer of the Palicte heirs to reduce the amount, which means the City will be able to save as much as P3.04 million.

Aside from the P2.6 million the Palictes are willing to waive, the City will also not have to pay the P438,251 government commission it would have been required to pay if the money is paid through the court.

“As final settlement, the Palictes are willing to accept P12 million and the mayor approved it. I am happy that he did because it means a savings of P3 million and that’s a lot of money the City can use for other things,” Bernaldez said yesterday.

He said that he already forwarded the documents to the City Treasurer’s Office for the processing of the voucher and the issuance of the check.

The payment for the Palicte property was included in the third supplemental budget of 2009.

“We are now in the process of preparing the vouchers and we will release the check within this week or next week,” said Bernaldez.

The City expropriated the 5,295-square-meter Palicte property in Barangay Capitol Site in 2001 for the on-site development for socialized housing beneficiaries.

In a letter dated Nov. 17, 2009, Regional Trial Court Branch 9 Sheriff Antonio Bellones said the Palictes are willing to reduce the amount the City owes them from P14.6 million to P12 million, provided the City pays before Dec. 15.

And if the payment will be delivered directly to the Palicte heirs, as what the City did in paying for the expropriated Rallos property, the City could avoid paying the government commission, he said. (LCR)