Tagbilaran City Councilor Ondoy Borja called for the stoppage of the ongoing bulldozing of a development believed to be a subdivision on top of the Banat-I Hill in Tagbilaran City, which has already been making headlines due to a controversial government project atop the same hill.
Borja, during the Sangguniang Panlungsod’s (SP) regular session on Wednesday, raised the issue after seeing photos on Facebook showing that the site of the purported hilltop subdivision in Barangay Bool has already been bulldozed and flattened.
“Mao nay issue karon kay wa may gipasa, way request, way nangayo og permit. I think it’s a ground na atong mapahunong na,” said Borja.
Bool Sangguniang Kabataan Chairman Floro Ringca confirmed to the SP that he personally saw the ongoing bulldozing at the Banat-I Hill.
“Naay gi bulldoze pero wa ko kahibaw og unsa to kung subdivision ba kay yamoy kapangutan-an,” Ringca said.
In a separate interview, Bool Councilor Willy Maestrado, the development is indeed a subdivision and that the developer requested for a permit from the village council but this was rejected due to the lack of an environmental compliance certificate (ECC).
For his part, City Engineering Office officer-in-charge Engineer Teodoro Estoque said they will conduct an ocular inspection at the site to confirm Ringca’s statement that construction works have indeed started.
Estoque also noted that they have not received any request for building or development permits for the area.
“Og yamoy building permit, formal application normally mo issue gyud mi og stoppage order or cease and desist order,” Estoque said.
Banat-I Hill, a lone hill in the middle of Tagbilaran City, has recently been under the spotlight due to the planned construction of the Regional Cultural Hub at the hill by the Department of Public Works and Highways and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in coordination with provincial government.
The project drew flak from the public due to environmental concerns.
The DPWH however has denied that they have already started construction despite the lack of environmental permits.
According to Estoque, they have also yet to issue a building permit for the project pending the conduct of various environmental test including environmental and sociall impact assessments. (A. Doydora)