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Lacson wants Camotes, Bantayan relocation sites titled

By: Peter L. Romanillos April 16,2014 - 06:12 AM

DISASTER rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson said he will ask President Benigno Aquino III to issue a Presidential Proclamation that will reclassify potential relocation sites in the islands of Camotes and Bantayan.

“He (Lacson) gave me his word that he will tell the President about issuing a proclamation to declare the land as alienable and disposable because these can’t be titled as of now,” said Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III.

The purchase of relocation sites by the towns that were heavily affected by supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the two islands have been delayed due to the lack of land titles.

The available parcels of land in the two islands cannot be issued titles since these have yet to declared as “alienable and disposable.”

In 1981, President Marcos through a Presidential Proclamation declared Bantayan Island 14,183 hectares of the island covering the municipalities of Santa Fe, Bantayan and Madridejos as “wilderness area.”

Marcos also declared the Camotes group of islands as a “mangrove forest reserve” in 1980.
Davide said he and Lacson also discussed about seeking an exemption from the Commission on Audit (COA) requirement on the purchase of a lot without a land title.

Lacson, who was appointed by Aquino as the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR), attended the inauguration of a new school facility donated by the Aboitiz Foundation in San Remigio last Saturday.

Mayors from north Cebu, including Davide, said they fear that COA may reprimand them for the purchase of the lots.

“We are willing to shell out money for the towns if they purchase the relocation sites. Hopefully, this will solve the problem,” he said.


Meanwhile, Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said 5th District Rep. Joseph “Ace” Durano will re-file a proposed bill seeking to reclassify Camotes as “alienable and disposable.”

The bill was first filed by Ace’s brother, former 5th District representative and now Danao Vice Mayor Red Durano, before the House of Representatives in 2007.

The bill pushes the declaration of land in the municipalities of Poro, Tudela, San Francisco and Pilar as open to disposition for residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial or other productive purposes.

However, the proposed legislation could not be passed as a law last year as it lacked Aquino’s signature.

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