Board Member: Capitol land banking may be approved next year

THE approval of the land banking program of Negros Occidental provincial government may be postponed early next year, Fifth District Board Member Alain Gatuslao said.

Gatuslao, chair of the committee on laws and ordinances, Monday led the hearing with the representatives of the land owners to clarify some issues.

He said that he is not sure if this will be included in the agenda of this week’s session as Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson still wants an executive- legislative meeting with the members of the Provincial Board and Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr.

The board member said the owners offered the land to the Capitol at a cheaper price of P1,200 to P1,400 per square meter.

“This property has less problems than the one located in Talisay City,” he said.

Gatuslao added that the property in Talisay still needs clearances from the Department of Agrarian Reform while the one in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City, has already complete papers with clearances.

It has long been converted into residential land from agricultural, he said.

Gatuslao added that the property is 40 hectares located at the border of Bacolod and Murcia town.

“It is for land swapping purposes for the lots located inside the Capitol-owned Panaad Park and Sports Stadium,” he said.

Gatuslao noted that the vice governor has no more questions over the land deal except for additional documentation regarding the appraised value of the land.

The provincial government will not anymore ask the land owner to lower the price “as it is already cheap not counting the development cost as it is a residential property,” he said.

“The provincial government can only utilize 60 to 70 percent of the land excluding the drainage and the water system,” he said.

Gatuslao added that there is also a need to talk with the employees of the Capitol currently occupying the land at Panaad Park to know “if they really want to transfer.”

“Only 30 of the 430 employees who have either bought land or have already constructed a house have agreed to a land swap. We should also take into consideration those who have already made improvements in their houses,” he said.

The governor wants the area at Panaad currently occupied by provincial government employees to be offered to national government agencies for their regional offices, Gatuslao said.

The Maritime Industry Authority and the Commission on Human Rights already expressed interest to set up their offices at Panaad, he said.

The payment will be made in tranches until 2018, Gatuslao said. (TDE)


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