Mayor negotiates with 'recalcitrant' homeowners on road project

DUMAGUETE Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo has finally stepped in to negotiate with “recalcitrant” owners to abandon their homes so a long-delayed multi-million peso government infrastructure project can move ahead.

This developed during the week as public speculation is mounting over the delay in the P159-million road opening and bridge construction project that connects Cadawinonan in Dumaguete City to Magatas in the next town of Sibulan.

City Hall Information Officer Dems Rey Demecillo said Friday, March 17, that Remollo has started talking to the owners to convince them to abandon their homes and receive the payment offered them so the project can continue.

If the owners continue to oppose this project, the revised completion date of the project on August 24, 2017 may not be met, Demecillo added.

In fact, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) already allowed the extension of the completion date from June this year to August due to the stall in negotiations with the house owners, he said.

Remollo early this week personally talked to the owners, accompanied by the contractor, PhilSouth Builders, and DPWH representatives and barangay officials.

The mayor learned that some of the owners who earlier opposed the project have agreed to relocate to their lots, while a number of owners still have to be convinced to do the same, Demecillo said.

The project has been delayed for more than a year because of the opposition of several lot and house owners.

The bridge and road construction project is part of the Metro Dumaguete diversion road that would include the construction of a five-meter high Banica Bridge linking the barangays of Candau-ay and Cadawinonan to Junob, said Demecillo.

To be called the Banica Bridge 3, this bridge will reduce the risk of flood waters inundating several housing communities along the banks of the Banica River, especially in Candau-ay and Cadawinonan.

Demecillo said the bridge is “described as a one-span bridge having a total of fourteen precast concrete piles including two test piles.”

Meanwhile, Remollo announced that all buses, public jeepneys and cargo trucks will be diverted to this new road network once the project is complete.

This is one way of relieving traffic congestion in the central business district of Dumaguete City, according to Demecillo. (PNA)