Council authorizes Celso to buy Salaan land for sanitary landfill PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 February 2012 14:23

The City Council in yesterday’s regular and second session this year passed a resolution with objection from the minority bloc granting Mayor Celso Lobregat the authority to sign for and in behalf of the city government the deed of sale relative to the purchase of a lot to be used for the city’s Sanitary Landfill (SLF).

Opposition Councilor Cesar “Jawo” Jimenez expressed belief that the lot owned by a certain Mauricio Go in Barangay Salaan, measuring some seven hectares, is expensive which he said is definitely against the general interest of the city. 

The approval came after City Legal Officer Samuel Mariano explained to members of the local legislative body in a dialogue that everything has been done following all legal procedures and that the price of the lot is justifiable and in accordance with the fare market value.

Mariano’s assurance, however, failed to convince the opposition councilors like Members Jimenez and Rommel Agan.

Jimenez said City Hall has never put into consideration the issue like the overpricing since the property was first sold by the original owners (Decheta and Falcatan Family) to Mr. Go at P8.86 centavo per square meter and when it was offered to the city government, the price has gone up to P115.00/sq meter which is more or less 1,300 percent increase.

The seven hectares is in addition to the three hectares that the city government had earlier purchased in Salaan for the said purpose.
The property in Salaan was first assessed by Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) as not ideal and suitable for SLF.

With no intention of discrediting MGB’s assessment, the city government commissioned a private group that has the expertise of conducting studies as to the viability of the subject.

In its assessment and evaluation, the group reported the otherwise.

According to their evaluation, the seven-hectare land can be used for SLF so long that mitigating measures should be put into place.

In doing so, the city government is considering the idea of tapping a private entity to undertake and take over the multi-million project in a design, build and operate scheme.

Aside from its alleged over price issue, Councilor Jimenez has raised another concern on the possible economic activities that will be happening between Barangays  Guiwan and Sangali (Salaan is located somewhere between this area) in the next coming years.

Jimenez said that a group of investors has seen the suitability of the area for various kinds of businesses “and so therefore, why should we throw our garbage in Salaan?”

“I am not against the putting up of a sanitary landfill. I just don’t want to be blamed by the people in the future just because of our decision. Though we have to fastrack its implementation,  but thorough study should be done before we will finally decide,” Jimenez said as he criticized Mayor Lobregat for the delay of the construction of the SLF in the city since the issue has been there for more than 10 years.

When the law was passed in 2000, Jimenez said, Lobregat, during his stint as Congressman in the lone district of Zamboanga, was one of those who co-authored the bill on the Ecological and Solid Waste Management that mandates the putting up of SLF.

“Why it took him almost ten years to act? This project should have been done long time ago when the price of land for the purpose was still very cheap,” the councilor said. — Jimmy Villaflores