P300M allotted for airport land buys

The southern municipality of Bacong, Negros Oriental is determining the number and areas of property owners who will be affected by the proposed new airport project of the government.

Initially, the government allocated PHP300 million for the acquisition of land for the airport to include right of way, among others. The airport project will require at least 170 to 180 hectares of land and is eyed for construction in the villages of Combado and Isugan and adjacent areas, he added.

Volunteer assistance is offered by local businessmen who are members of the NegOr Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Real Estate brokers are now on the move at land pricings. They usually get 5% of the total purchase price of real estate.

Economists admit it’s a long way to go, even years.   It took Panglao 18 years to realize the international airport which was inaugurated last year.

Right now, there is no definite area defined within the 180-hectare parameter of the proposed airport. Second, right of way negotiations then expropriation proceedings will take years. Many times, the budget will be reverted to the national coffers due to non-realization.  Usually unused budgets will be reduced annually.

Most of all, politics is a very uncertain factor   since nobody knows the political climate of the future. Beneficiaries and future heirs of lands affected will have different political if not cultural affiliations.

Despite that, the optimists in the LGUS in, Bacong local officials led by Mayor Lenin Alviola met with NOCCI executives to begin discussions on the identification and survey of households and land in the barangays where the new airport will be built.

An approved survey is required prior to negotiations with the owners of houses and lands that the government may have to acquire or expropriate for public use with the building of the new airport.

NOCCI’s role in the project will be to assist in the appraisal of the properties that stand to be affected and to give the initial estimates “to find out if the budget of PHP300 million is enough or not.”

Many NOCCI members have some vested interest in the project because some of its members own properties in the proposed new airport site, said Ed Du, head of NOCCI.

The Dumaguete-based businessman said there is still no clear picture of how many landowners and houses will be affected by the airport project even as many residents of Bacong have already expressed fear of losing and giving up their properties to the government in exchange for a low price.

On the contrary, once the airport is realized, real estate will boom in the area.  In Panglao, what used to be sold real property at P400 per square meter now costs as high as P20,000 per square meter.

NOCCI’s role is to help in the negotiations to come up with a “fair price” that would not be too high for government nor too low for the property owners.

The negotiators  need to know how many lot owners have houses which will be displaced , how many have coconut or other trees, how many have improvements, etc. so that when negotiations start, we know at what cost  to negotiate, and supported with a database.(PNA)