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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, January 8, 2011
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Paglaum sports complex
squatters up for eviction

The Negros Occidental provincial government will evict squatters occupying the Paglaum Sports Complex in Bacolod City as soon as it regains possession of it, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said yesterday.

The squatter commercial establishments, stalls and residences at the sports complex have reached close to 200, figures from the Negros Occidental Government Assets Management Section showed yesterday.

Squatters not only occupy the Paglaum Sports Complex structures facing Hernaez and Lacson streets, they are now also inside the complex and if no action is taken, may overrun more areas,   the governor said.

Squatters houses are now close to the track oval and football field of the sports complex, he noted.

And businesses occupying Paglaum buildings  have not been paying rent, he added.

The swimming pool at the facility has also long been unused.

The sports complex was donated by the provincial government to the Department of Education during the term of Gov. Rafael Coscolluela on the condition that the DepEd maintain the facility.

However, years of neglect has led to the deterioration of the sports complex and an increase in squatters in the area, prompting the provincial government to seek its return for breach of the conditions set in the deed of donation.

Marañon said the Negros Occidental provincial government is set to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the DepEd soon to regain the sports complex so it can be rehabilitated.

The provincial government, aside from rehabilitating the sports facility, plans to build a new three-story building facing Lacson and Hernaez streets, with the ground floor to be leased out to commercial establishments and the two other floors to call centers, he added.

A portion of the structure will also be used as a dormitory for out-of-town students, especially the provincial scholars, the governor said.*CPG

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