ILOILO City Congressman Jerry Treñas expressed optimism on the renewed interest of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to put closure to the long-running controversy over a P130-million housing project in Barangay Ungka, Pavia town.

Treñas said he is supporting Mabilog's move to rescind the housing project contract with contractor Ace Builders Enterprises.

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He admitted that many criminal and administrative cases were filed against him in the Ombudsman and local courts regarding the housing project, which deterred him from resolving the issue.

Contract of the housing project in Pavia was perfected in 2002 during the time of then city mayor Mansueto Malabor with the release of a mobilization fund and initial release for construction.

Treñas was elected mayor in 2002 and had to pursue the housing contract as advised by the City Legal Office. The Treñas administration also released construction amount up to the third billing costing some P61 million.

However, the fourth contractor billing was not paid due to complaints of substandard materials used in the construction of housing units. The contractor also abandoned the project in 2003 without finishing the housing units.

The amount due the Land Bank of the Philippines ballooned to more than P81 million including interests that were already paid by the City Government, Treñas said.

Treñas said it is up to Mabilog to do whatever is necessary about the project and he will be fully supporting it.

On the other hand, Mabilog said he is eyeing a long-term public-private partnership on the project or the city may even sell the whole project site, which is along the major road going to the town proper of Pavia.

Mabilog said proposals are also on the pipeline. (LCP)