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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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BREDCO paying too little

Bacolod Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya yesterday said the amount of P800,000, which the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. is paying the city annually for the port rental, is too small and should be increased.

Gasataya said this was the annual rental being paid by BREDCO to the city when they reviewed the upward adjustment middle of 2000. Now it is 2013 and BREDCO is still paying the same amount so he believes it should be increased since the city should receive what is due it.

He said, however, he has not yet received a copy of the decision of the Court on the “takeover ordinance” and only heard about it through the media. As soon as he gets hold of it, he will take a personal stand, he said.

“But as Vice Mayor, I do not want to pre-empt the decision of the City Council as a collegial body.” So he will wait for the stand of the SP, Gasataya said.

The Regional Trial Court declared City Ordinance 454, or the “takeover” ordinance null and void, for being violative of the Constitutional guarantee on the right to due process and non-impairment of contractual obligations.

Councilor Caesar Distrito said that, as chairman of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Laws, he, too, has not yet received a copy of the decision of the Court. But as soon as it has been transmitted to the SP, he will study it and present it to the SP as a collegial body, for the best action for it to take.

Distrito said it was not the city that filed the case, but BREDCO. He believes they should first study whether or not to appeal the case to protect the interest of the city.

“We can do both – we can go with the renegotiation and at the same time pursue a motion for reconsideration. If the negotiation is not favorable to the city, we can have the case dismissed, as the law says, all civil cases can be withdrawn at any stage even on appeal, and even if there is a final decision,” Distrito said.

In making the decision, on what action to take, the city officials including the entire SP should be involved, he said.

Councilor Archie Baribar said they still have an option to file a motion for reconsideration.

“If talking means we talk about an amicable settlement, this is a new administration and we are privileged to look from a different direction other than the steps taken by the previous administration,” he said.

Any recommendation they will make will be for the interest of Bacolod, he said, greater benefits for Bacolod for reconsideration up to the size of land that the city should get.

Baribar said the old administration had acted in favor of the city. If that definition of what is favorable to the city did not work at that time, they have to reword it, he said.

Asked if he has been tasked by Mayor Monico Puentevella to be part of the team that will renegotiate with BRECO, Baribar said they will be glad if given that privilege.

Earlier, Distrito said that before Puentevella can renegotiate with BREDCO, he is mandated by law to seek authority from the SP.*CGS




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