By LITO RULONA
THE Limketkai group has stood firm in rejecting the government’s plan to connect a drainage system being built in Agora to a creek via its property.
Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr. said no less than the firm’s top honcho, Albino Limketkai, told him that the company would not allow the Department of Public Works and Highways to start diggings within the commercial center for the ongoing drainage project.
Engr. Lloyd Lumagbas, maintenance division chief of the DPWH in Region 10, said the government may be forced to start expropriation proceedings.
“That is the only route. If they will not allow, then we will go for expropriations proceedings,” Lumagbas said.
But he said the expropriation proceedings would likely delay the completion of the multimillion-peso project that is seen to cushion the impact of the urban flooding problem at a section of CM Recto Avenue.
He said the project is considered by the Duterte administration as a priority project in Cagayan de Oro and the government has ensured enough funds to complete it.
Lumagbas said the Valenzuela-Agora road phase of the drainage construction project is about to be completed, and the second biggest appropriation for the next phase of the project is about to be released.
He said the DPWH would not be able to proceed to the next phase because of the Limketkai group’s opposition.
City engineer Rolando Pacuribot said he reviewed the consolidated plan of the Limketkai complex and found out that the project would be on a road that is already considered as a city government property.
Pacuribot said Albino Limketkai was amenable at first when the second phase of the project was discussed along with Mayor Oscar Moreno but later had a change of mind.
“When DPWH was already about to start Phase 2 of the project, bigla na lamang nga na-usab ang huna-huna ni Albino Limketkai. Road lot man kini, and we have to pursue the project which is already considered to belong to the government,” Pacuribot said.