Monday, June 17, 2019

Homeowners affected by railway project claim rights violations

(SunStar Davao graphics)

HOMEOWNERS in Davao City who are affected by the Mindanao Railway Project complained that their rights were violated with the absence of a consultation and the lack of disclosure on the project.

A few members of the South Pacific Golf and Leisure Estates Homeowners Association barged into the city council’s session Monday, December 10, to hear the explanation on the realignment of the project.

“Nobody came to us. The consultation was not done. We were hoping that we will be spared on this because it seemed that we don’t matter. Our rights are violated,” Paulia Pestaño, one of the homeowners, said Monday.

“Most of us are retirees and we chose that place because it is quiet,” she said, adding that with the project being constructed above them, the place will no longer be a quiet place for them anymore.

Pestaño further said that there should have been a consultation done first before they discussed it in the council.

The item endorsing the approval of the project is under the committee on public works and highways, which is chaired by Councilor Jesus Zozobrado III.

Last December 5, Zozobrado said there were 23 barangays and 10 subdivisions affected by the project but no one in the council raised any objection, hence, the discussion to properly compensate those who will be affected was pushed through.

However, the homeowners complained that they were not allowed to speak their side Monday and were not even invited when they were primarily the individuals affected.

Meanwhile, Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang asked Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Eymard Eje if there was a dialogue made between the involved agencies and the homeowners.

“I believe that there were prior consultations made with the homeowners,” Eje said.

Not long after, he also said that since the project has not yet been finalized, they have not talked with the homeowners directly and individually yet.


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