Education Secretary Armin Luistro is set to sign an amicable settlement with Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. for the return of the ownership of the Paglaum Sports Complex in Bacolod City to the Negros Occidental provincial government this month, Provincial Legal Officer Jose Ma. Valencia said yesterday.
Valencia, who is also the chief of staff of Marañon, said the Negros Occidental provincial government won its case for revocation of its donation of the sports complex to the DepEd at the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod since the Education Department failed to comply with its obligation to maintain the premises.
The DepEd, through the solicitor general during the previous administration, appealed the RTC ruling before the Court of Appeals, but now the Education Department has agreed to return the sports complex since it cannot afford to maintain the facility, Valencia said.
In the amicable settlement, the provincial government agrees to build a three-storey school building and rehabilitate the grandstand to serve the needs of the adjacent Negros Occidental High School, he added.
The provincial government will also build a dormitory where out-of-town students can pay about P300 a month for bed space instead of the current P1,200, Valencia said.
Marañon said the provincial government will maintain the track oval and the grandstand for sports needs, and build a three-storey commercial building on the complex property facing Hernaez and Lacson streets, Bacolod City.
The commercial building will be able to earn an income to help the province assist the NOHS, Valencia said.
Valencia said the Paglaum Sports Complex is so rundown, neighbors are complaining that when the winds are strong pieces of galvanized roofing are sometimes seen flying off its buildings.
There are about 80 to 100 squatters in the Paglaum Sports Complex and some of them are already encroaching on the track oval and pool area, he said.
As soon as the provincial government regains ownership of the sports complex, squatters in the area will be issued notices of eviction, he said.
He noted that the persons running businesses in the Paglaum Sports Complex have not been paying rent since the facility was turned over to the DepEd.
They have been making money out of government property for nothing, he said.
The provincial government will have no financial obligation to those evicted since it is not a residential area, he added.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Internal Revenue is seeking a dialog with Marañon on January 24 to discuss its planned taxing of government run businesses. The provincial government is objecting to the move.*CPG