By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros Occidental Provincial Board approved a supplemental budget worth P412.7 million during their regular session, last Wednesday at the Provincial Capitol.
Provincial Board Member Salvador Escalante, Jr. said P300 million of the budget would go towards the purchase of lots in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City and Barangay Matab-ang, Talisay City.
According to Escalante, the purchased lots would be used by the province for a number of purposes, including the construction of the proposed Negros Institute of Technology in Talisay City and a housing project for provincial government employees in Barangay Mansilingan.
The properties made headlines towards the end of last year after the Provincial Board rescinded existing lot contracts for the 400,000 square meter property owned by the C&C Agricultural and Development Corporation in Bacolod City and the 250,000 square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, Negros Occidental 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.”
Additionally, Escalante said P1 million would be used for the purchase of vehicles, which would be provided for the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) and the Provincial General Services Office (PGSO).
P10 million would also be used for the dismantling of floodlights at the Panaad Park and Stadium, along with P40 million for the replacement of the said floodlights./WDJ