By LITO RULONA, Correspondent .
THE city council deferred proposals to set aside more funds for city hall’s land-banking program as councilors sought an explanation on the local government’s housing backlog.
Councilors Reuben Daba and Romeo Calizo called for a review of city hall’s land purchases and shelter program.
Daba said city hall has already bought some 150 hectares for its land-banking program and yet it has a housing backlog of some 50 thousand homeless people.
“I am not against land banking. Ang ako lamang is, pila na gyud ang nahimo sa dakbayan nga mga balay?” asked Daba rhetorically.
He raised the question on Monday when Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr. proposed that P11.331 million be set aside so that city hall could buy a 60-hectare property in Barangay San Simon from one Leo T. Sambaan for “resettlement site/land-banking purposes.”
Daba asked for deferment and ask representatives from housing department in City Hall to explained the huge margin of backlog suffered by the city government in terms of housing program.
Aside from Sambaan’s property, city hall also plans to pay one Josefina L. Pung P8.308 million for Lot No. 37881, and P724,328 for documentation and registration expenses. The 36,123-square meter property is also located in Barangay San Simon.
Councilor Romeo Calizo expressed his apprehensions given the questions raised by Daba earlier. Calizo said there was a need for “further study”or a “feasibility study.”
Councilor Edna Dahino, chairperson of the city council’s finance committee, said she agrees that city hall should first review its shelter and land-banking programs in view of the housing backlog.
Housing, she said, should be prioritized.