Bacolod Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez Thursday said that the P9 million fund from Sta. Lucia Realty and Avida (Ayala Land, Inc.) that is in compliance with the 20 percent socialized housing requirement of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board mandated by law, is now available.
Lopez said a memorandum of agreement had been signed by these two giant housing developers and former Mayor and now Bacolod Rep. Evelio Leonardia for the money to be used for the facilities needed by the residents of Purok Progreso Village which the relocation site of the City of Bacolod, he said.
The fund that was deposited or transferred to Bacolod City last January is intended for the supply of water, electricity, toilets and drainage that will benefit the thousands of families at the Purok Progreso Village, in Vista Alegre.
Lopez said that if it had not been for the election ban in May 2013, the project could have been implemented already.
He was referring to a resolution authored by Councilor El Cid Familiaran requesting the giant housing developers to provide the Sanggunian of Bacolod City data to show the total cost of their project.
In his resolution, Familiaran stated that, in the documents submitted by the developers to the Sanggunian, there was no mention of the total subdivision cost, which should have been the basis of the computation of the 20 percent socialized housing requirement. It might be that the amount under consideration could be bigger for the city's advantage.
Sta. Lucia and Avida had entered into a MOA with the city because it availed of a program from the HLURB where 20 percent of the total cost of their housing project will go to socialized housing.
Lopez recalled that a colatilla even stated that once the Mayor approved the funds, it will go back to the Council which will then scrutinize exactly where it will be used and if indeed it will be used for the relocation site and then the go-signal will be given.
So, he said, the funds cannot be re-channeled for other purposes considering that this is backed by a MOA and should be respected by the Local Government Unit.
Lopez said he went around visiting national offices to look for projects, when he stumbled upon the HLURB. “And this initiative resulted in this project that has long been
awaited by the supposed beneficiaries at the relocation site,” he said.*CGS