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Guv to convene committee on Capitol lots

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

Governor Hilario P. Davide III is set convene its real property executive committee this week to discuss the 93-1 issue.

Its purpose is to finally come up with a framework how to treat the issues affecting the Capitol lots in Cebu City. The discussion would also include other properties, which are now occupied by informal settlers.

The unresolved controversies involving the lots have been surfacing early on since Gov. Davide assumed office last June 30. The governor stated he wanted the controversies settled before his first term ends in 2016.

Last week, the Alliance of Barangay Apas Community Association (ABACA) met with Gov. Davide. Like the 93-1 beneficiaries, ABACA is another group of homeowners that got entangled with Capitol on the lot issue.

ABACA president Ma. Linda Paracuelles said they hoped that under the new administration they would be able to finally own the lots they are occupying in their lifetime.

“I no longer care how they will do it. But I hope this will be settled soon,” she said.

The ABACA homeowners are not covered by the provincial ordinance 93-1. The 93-1 is a legislation, which allowed the informal settlers to buy the Capitol lots they have occupied.

In their case, ABACA members occupied parts of the 81-hectare lots, which Capitol donated to the military in 1959. The property eventually became the Camp Lapu-lapu, the headquarters of military’s Central Command (Centcom).

In 2003, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation 409 declaring 32 ha. of the Centcom lots as socialized housing site.

But former Governor Gwendolyn Garcia revoked the donation for violation of the donation’s condition. In 2009, Garcia and former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro signed a memorandum of agreement to transfer the Camp Lapu-lapu.

The transfer was seen to affect around one thousand families in Barangay Apas including ABACA members.

Atty. Alvin Claridades, director, post-proclamation group of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, said the primary issue that needs to be addressed by the Capitol is land ownership.

He said though the donation is revoked, the titles of the entire Centcom lots are still named under the Republic of the Philippines.

“If the land ownership is settled, that’s the only time that the province can proceed with the affected occupants,” he said.