Ocon acts on complaint of Bulua folk


THE City Council committee on public works chaired by Councilor Zaldy Ocon, during its recent committee meeting, tackled the special report regarding the complaint of several land owners of Zone 7, Bulua on the construction of an access road from the existing coastal road passing through and affecting their properties.


The Power learned that the original plan of the project underwent public consultation. However, such plan was reportedly not followed by the DPWH without prior notice. The department reportedly altered the original plan and made a new one which traversed the properties of Dr. Maria Salvador and Raul Chavez.


An engineer of DPWH said they changed the plan and did not follow the original plan for practical and economic reasons. Many houses will be affected, he cited. He said that Salvador and Chavez were individually approached and informed of the change of plan.


Hilario Balbin of the De Oro Sagatech Resort said that a public consultation on altering or changing the original plan and presenting the new one should have been conducted before its implementation. He recalled that after the public consultation on the original plan, surveys of the area were conducted, and markers were placed.


Balbin who also studied traffic administration and an expert on such field, criticized how the DPWH planned and later on suddenly changed its plan. He said the DPWH only did a partial study of the project and did not look at its totality. That is why daghan kaayo ta’g palpak nga trabaho, Balbin said.


Ocon asked the DPWH why they altered the original plan without conducting public consultation.


The DPWH representative informed the committee that he was directed by Regional Director Zenaida Tan to stop the original plan, change it and traverse to another direction because there were people who allegedly went to the director’s office to complain.


Atty. Mordeno, counsel for the complainants, emphasized that the DPWH has a Right-of-Way Acquisition Manual, which states that a Public Consultation Meeting (PCM) is mandatory, and that there can be no expropriation without it.


He said the purpose of the PCM is to avoid certain groups or individuals from maneuvering conditions to work for their personal interest.


The committee passed a resolution addressed to the regional director and secretary of DPWH citing that the original plan for the construction of the national highway from Bulua down to the coastal road should be followed. (SP/EF)