Banilad road widening gets lot owners’ nod
Several property owners along the eight-kilometer Banilad-Talamban (BanTal) road have agreed to move back their boundaries to accommodate the widening of the road.
Businessman Bunny Pages, who heads the newly formed Ban-Tal Traffic Management Board, did not name the property owners as negotiations are still ongoing.
“The most striking news is that several lot owners want to help in the widening. We plan to put up a billboard saying this road widening is a private initiative and we’re just coordinating with the city government,” Pages told Cebu Daily News.
He also welcomed the announcement of Gov. Hilario Davide III that the provincial government, which owns properties in Banilad, is ready to help. They will meet with the governor this week.
“What’s important now is that we’re building momentum. Our orientation is that whatever roads we can widen now, we will widen,” Pages said.
Aside from the provincial government, the management of University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus (USC-TC) as well as the Bright Academy earlier said they’re willing to give way to the road widening project.
These pledges were a welcome development for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) whose road widening project was stalled because of problems on road right-of-way (RROW).
DPWH Regional Director Ador Canlas said that representatives from the USC-TC visited his office last Friday.
“The USC-TC, Bright Academy and the Avilas have agreed to set back their property even without payment yet. But we will pay them later,” Canlas said.
The road widening project along Gov. Cuenco Ave. starts right after the Banilad-Talamban flyover and ends at the corner of M.L. Quezon St.
This was started last year, but was suspended by RROW issues.
A total of 85 structures along the project area will be affected by the DPWH project. The agency had initiated expropriation proceedings in court.
Three cases are still pending and the agency plans to file four more expropriation cases. This includes a case involving residents with free patent titles wherein DPWH claims that it is not obligated to pay.
DPWH-7 Chief Legal Officer Brando Ray Raya said they will file the cases this month or next.
“It’s important for people to know that there are aspects of RROW which are not dependent on DPWH like assessment, appraisal, filing of cases which is done by the Office of the Solicitor General, and the court,” Raya told CDN.
With the recent move of owners of huge establishments to cooperate, the public works department hopes the rest will follow.
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