By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. said yesterday, he is awaiting the transfer of land titles from property purchases made in Hacienda Conchita-Manayaosayao, Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City; and Hacienda Minuluan-Panlilio, Barangay Matab-ang, Talisay City.
“The documents have already been approved by the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue),” he affirmed.
The properties in question made headlines towards the end of last year after the Negros Occidental Provincial Board rescinded existing lot contracts for the 400,000 square meter property owned by the C&C Agricultural and Development Corporation in Bacolod City and the 250,000 square meter property owned by the Encar Agro-Development Corporation in Talisay City.
At the time, Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson requested a committee hearing on the proposed expropriation, noting, “We should not rush this request, especially that the parties concerned are the very same land owners who previously requested we rescind the contract to sell.”
It was previously reported, the Bacolod City property would be used for the housing needs of the Capitol workers; while the Talisay City property, which includes the site of the Negros Institute of Technology, would be used for mix-use development purposes.
Marañon also clarified, funds used for the purchases were taken from the proceeds of the sale and lease of Capitol properties surrounding the Provincial Capitol.
The governor issued the clarification after Lacson revealed the Commission on Audit (COA) report ordered a refund of the P60 million down payment made by the Capitol after the owners reportedly failed to acquire clearances for the said properties from the Department of Agrarian Reform.
In regards to the down payment, it was also earlier reported, Provincial Board Member Alain Gatuslao said the P60 million fulfills a “required minimum down payment of 15 percent on value of the land expected to be expropriated.”/DGB, WDJ