Capitol offers usufruct to iron out Eversley land dispute

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | September 22,2022 - 04:56 PM
Capitol offers usufruct to iron out Eversley land dispute. In photo is the facade of the Eversley Childs Sanitarium. | CDN File Photo

EVERSLEY CHILDS SANITARIUM | CDN File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has finally spoken on the land dispute involving the Capitol and Eversley Childs Sanitarium in Mandaue City.

Garcia asserted that the provincial government was the rightful owner of the 25-hectare land in Brgy. Jagobiao, where Eversley was currently sitting.

During a press conference on Thursday, September 22, Garcia defended their decision to issue a Notice to Vacate to Eversley Childs Sanitarium. 

“Why am I fighting for this? Well… there is clear evidence that (the property) rightfully belongs to Cebu province… Di na ako, sa probinsya na (It is not mine. That belong to the province),” said Garcia.

But should the concerned parties decide to stay, the province requested them to ‘recognize and legitimize’ their ownership. In turn, the governor offered them to enter into a usufruct agreement as a compromise. 

 

“We are willing to legitimize your stay… we can enter into a usufruct agreement,” Garcia said. 

Usufruct is giving a right to enjoy the property of another with the obligation of preserving its form and substance, unless the title constituting it or the law otherwise provides, says a report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Usufruct, in essence, is nothing else but simply allowing one to enjoy another’s property.

History 

Garcia, on Tuesday’s briefing, presented original documents as proof that the province owned the lot in dispute. These included a deed of donation, and a deed of acceptance dated way back in 1930.

Capitol officials who joined her also said that the donation took place under the administration of late Governor Mariano Jesus Cuenco. It was the late Cebu bishop, Msgr. Juan Gorordo, on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church of Cebu, who gave the property to the provincial government. 

The Provincial Board back then also issued a resolution to recognize the deed of acceptance and deed of donation for the transaction, they added. 

Notice to Vacate

On August 8, 2022, the Capitol issued a Notice to Vacate to Eversley Childs Sanitarium, one of Cebu’s largest hospitals run by the Department of Health (DOH). 

According to Garcia, hospital officials were already aware that the Capitol had claimed ownership over the land where the hospital was erected. 

She said that multiple meetings had been made since June but when representatives from Eversley failed to respond timely to their requests and questions, they decided to issue the Notice to Vacate. 

Garcia also hit hospital officials for allegedly ‘playing the victim’, and even considered taking the matter to the court. 

“Di mo ipapahawa… Ayaw tuisa ang issue. Pirma og usufruct under DOH, wa tay problema. (But) for as long as di mo irecognize sa Province of Cebu then I will have to assert our ownership,” she said. 

(We are not asking you to leave the area…just don’t twist the issue. Sign the usufruct agreement under DOH, and we will have no problem at all. (But) for as long as you are not recognized by the Province of Cebu, then I will have to assert our ownership.)

Private residents have also occupied portions of the contested property in Brgy. Jagobiao however, Garcia assured them that they would not be displaced. 

Officials from the National Housing Authority (NHA), also present during one of their meetings, were able to provide legal basis to defend beneficiaries occupying there, the governor said. 

“We will respect Presidential Proclamation No. 1772… Kana nga yuta, pagabayran na sa NHA. Musulud na dire sa coffers of the province. Makapuno na sa atong gipanghimo nga kadalanan, patubig ug mga tulay… mahibalik na sa katawhan,” said Garcia. 

(We will respect Presidential Proclamation No. 1772…that lot will be paid by the NHA. That will be in the coffers of the province. That will be added to the roads that we are constructing, water supply and bridges… that will return to the people.)

Proclamation No. 1722 was issued by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which ordered portions of the property occupied by Eversley to be used as a socialized housing project.

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TAGS: CDN, Cebu Daily News, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, cebu news, DOH, eversley, Eversley Childs Sanitarium, land dispute, usufruct

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