For the last SEVEN (7) years, the national government thru the DPWH Region 7 has allocated no less than P1.57Billion for the consctruction of the much-talked about national diversion road from Sibulan to Dumaguete to Bacong ending 2020.
Last week, Congressman Manuel Sagarbarria showed political will by ground breaking the Camanjac portion of the diversion highway with a partial allotment of P150Million.
Easily the contractors who are ready to proceed, could finish it in no time, the bidding is already won and awarded, if not for the problem of securing the RIGHT OF WAY.
The DPWH has released a bird’s eye view of the entire diversion highway from Sibulan-Dumaguete-Bacong showing which has now incurred a lot of delays. Cong. Sagarbarria laments the apathy of many people in granting and or delaying the right of way. In fairness, many people also say that government takes too long to pay their obligations.
But because of the People –residents along the traversed way, instead of cooperating with the government, are the ones giving the DPWH more problems by making it hard for them to secure the RIGHT OF WAY if only to speed up the two to four-lane all-concrete diversion road.
The problem with DPWH is also the legal aspect which they are not experts to pursue that is why the delay.
When the year is over, the money is reverted and given back to the national treasury, and awaits another allotment for the next general fund budget.
WHY IS THE PEOPLE GIVING GOVERNMENT A PROBLEM? When ultimately, it is the people who will benefit from a higher real estate cost? People should know that when a road is open, the cost of land will rise and triple if not quadruple.
The new computation of the just compensation is now based on market value, no longer the assessed value. Besides, falure to give the right of way will still end up in EXPROPRIATON PROCEEDINGS which will run for years.
In fairness, the government must now also erase the stigma that it takes government a long time to pay landowners, and people for a the right of way.
The answer is a MASSIVE INFORMATION DRIVE. Second, we call on volunteer legal groups like the Salonga Law Center of Silliman , Foundation and Norsu, COLLEGES OF LAW to help the community by speeding up the right of way papers, and be accredited by DepEd (attention Sec LingLing Briones) as academic credits. Thus, save on cost of litigation.
The bottom line is: SAYANG the P1.57Billioin if it will evaporate and revert to the national coffreres, for failure of the people to grant the right of way; the City will suffer more traffic congtestion; the diversion road will not be opened for long; more potential accidents can happen due to traffic congestion; the entire community of 600,000 people in the second district will be prejudiced because of a few indifferent, selfish, and callouse people who are delaying the grant of THE RIGHT OF WAY.
Question: what shall we citizens do? Email suggestions to : firstname.lastname@example.org.