The Panglao local government unit (LGU) led by Mayor Nila Montero on Monday broke ground for its new P100 million municipal hall but with strong opposition from five town councilors who snubbed the event.
Five members of the town’s Sangguniang Bayan (SB) including Councilors Noel Hormachuelos, Zenon Labaya, Felix Fudolig, Fil Anthony Dumaluan and Benedict Alcala were noted to have skipped the event amid their protest particularly against the chosen site for the structure.
According to Montero, the town hall construction has already been approved by the SB and the structure will be erected across the old municipal hall in Barangay Poblacion.
Montero said the LGU does not have any other available lot for the municipal building.
She added that purchasing a new lot would take more time and would cost more considering that land in the resort town is expensive.
“Ang ilang gusto mo palit ta og yuta, og mo palit ta karon unya e-expropriate na pareha sa airport jamu gyuy mo baligya nato ana kay as mayor kay nahibaw na ta na ang yuta sa Panglao based on prevailing market value wa gyuy mo baligja og akwaon ug mahal na pud kinta, kinsa man puy mopalit og mahal,” Montero said in an interview over station dyRD.
In a separate interview, Hormachuelos clarified that they are opposing the site of the municipal hall not the construction itself.
He said the new town hall needs a bigger lot so it the municipal hall can have ample parking space.
“Gi-consider nato ang mga umaabot. What will happen four to eight years from now na mo daghan naman gyud ang mga transaction na himuon, first consideration is can they guarantee that there will be enough parking space both for the employees and the clientele,” Hormachuelos said.
The lawmaker claimed that contractors have told him that there are many other possible site options for the municipal hall, which he said, they envision to be a government center which will also house national government offices.
“Kung mangutana ka sa mga contractor, based sa ilang research gyud for the entire Panglao, only 22 percent palang ang occupied we can scout other places na makahimo ta og espasyo,” Hormachuelos said.
The LGU can expropriate unused lots for the new town hall, he added.
Hormachuelos also noted that they are against the demolition of the old municipal hall for its “historical value.”
However, Montero denied claims that the government intends to destroy the over five decade-old structure. (RT)