Five municipal councilors of Panglao town are set to ask a court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the ongoing construction of the town’s P100-million municipal hall as the legislators continued to air their opposition against the project’s chosen site.
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According to Councilor Noel Hormachuelos who is among the five municipal legislators, they are planning to take legal action after construction of the structure started last week despite their opposition and that of their supporters.
“Naa miy mga gihimong lakang para sa among legal actions like consulting legal minds and we are heading towards filing a request for a temporary restraining order, kay nasayod mi na dili lang kami kundi ang bagang katawhan sa Panglao ga suporta gyud namo,” said Hormachuelos.
The councilor noted that the temporary stoppage would allow more time for consultations with the public.
Hormachuelos along with Councilors Zenon Labaya, Felix Fudolig, Fil Anthony Dumaluan and Benedict Alcala are against the construction of the structure near the existing municipal hall citing possible congestion in the future and lack of an adequate parking area due to the site’s limited space.
They noted that the municipal hall is seen to cater to more clients in the future with the town poised to become a city making it necessary to erect the structure at a larger lot.
“Kining among gihimo dili ni para lang karon kundili among gitan-aw og unsay mahimong kabalahanan ug kaugmaran sa atong lungsod sa Panglao sa umaabot na katuigan especially ang atong Panglao dako og puruhan na mamahimong syudad sa umaabot so atong mga decision karon ato ng pagpangandam,” said Hormachuelos.
According to Hormachuelos, the local government unit also needs permission from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to erect a structure near the old town hall, which is 58 years old and is considered an important cultural property (ICP).
He claimed that the approval is needed even if the old town hall itself will not be altered or demolished as construction works will be done in the vicinity of the ICP.
For her part, last-term Mayor Nila Montero said construction of the structure across the old town hall in Barangay Poblacion has already been approved by the Sangguniang Bayan.
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 earlier interview.
However, Hormacuelos explained that expropriation would not be needed considering that many lot owners are willing to sell their properties.
He said lots to be bought will not be expensive as these will not be beachfront properties.
“Daghang options sa Panglao tungod kay ang lungsod luag pa man, ang entiro lugar sa Panglao 22 porsyento palang ang okupado ,” said Hormachuelos.
The councilor added that they are already eyeing three potential sites for the municipal hall which are more spacious than the current location. (R. Tutas)