Mayor seeks swift transfer of ARMM properties in Zambo City to Phil gov’t PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 23 January 2015 11:48

Mayor Beng Climaco said it is very important that before the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, all parcels of land owned by the ARMM in Zamboanga City be ceded and transferred to the national government as mandated under the expanded ARMM Law.

The City Government for its part, she declared, is “very willing and able to purchase the same (properties) from the national government.”

Mayor Climaco cited the need for the swift transfer of the ARMM properties to the national government during the last hearing on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law called by the Congressional Ad Hoc Committee before the latter submits its recommendations to the House of Representatives.

Apart from unequivocal stand of the Zamboangueños for non-inclusion in the Bngsamoro, equally important according to Climaco is the issue of the ARMM properties situated in non-ARMM areas.

Based on Section 1 of Article XVIII of Republic Act 9054 or the Expanded ARMM law, land and permanent buildings or structures owned, controlled, administered, or in possession of the ARMM located in provinces and cities which do not vote favorably for the inclusions of their respective areas in the ARMM shall be purchased by the national government.  In turn, the national government shall, from its acquisition of said land and permanent buildings or structures, sell, transfer, and convey the said properties in favor of the local government unit having territorial jurisdiction thereover and willing to purchase the said land and buildings or structures, or portions thereof.

“It is our firm stand that this provision of the Expanded ARMM Law is mandatory and has to be complied with prior to the enactment of the BBL,” the mayor asserted.

Climaco said several parcels of  land “apparently registered in the name of the Republic of the Philippines/Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Republic/ARMM) are situated in Barangay Cabatangan, Zamboanga City”.  However, she said, the Lupon Tagapagpaganap ng Pook (LTP) Building in Cabatangan, a building claimed by the ARMM, is situated inside the lot owned by and registered in the name of the City.

She pointed out that the city had manifested its interest to acquire these parcels of land.

Situated within these parcels of land are buildings and structures of national governmental agencies.  These include the Department of Education and Department of Health Training Centers, the Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office-IX, the Civil Service Commission Regional Office-IX, the Population Commission Training Center, the National Telecommunications Commission Building, the Philippine Army Engineering Brigade, the Philippine Marines, and the Philippine Navy Barracks, among others.  These parcels of land can be transformed into a Governmental Center to cater to the office needs of local and national governmental agencies and headquarters of military installations situated therein, she emphasized.

Also, she continued, some parcels of land are occupied by illegal settlers.  “In conjunction with the National Housing Authority (NHA), the City of Zamboanga can transform some parcels thereof as on-site resettlement areas in line with the Honorable President’s thrust to provide decent housing to those who have less in life.  Thus, it is imperative that the City take ownership and full possession of these parcels of land to be developed as on-site resettlement areas”.

Thus, it is very important that before the passage of the BBL, these properties be ceded and transferred to the national government and that the city government is willing and able to purchase the same from the national government, she added. — Sheila Covarrubias