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Mayor slams real estate developer for unfulfilled commitments
8 January 2021 – Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong on Thursday chided officials of a leading land developer in the country for what he termed as “unfulfilled and under-served commitments made in the 90’s to build and develop its over 200-hectare golf course and country residences in an area straddling Baguio and Benguet.
“For nearly 28 years, the commitments on housing, water supply, and security issues have largely gone unfulfilled,” said Mayor Magalong, “reason why complaints of residents in the Pinewoods subdivision have been lodged with national and local government offices.”
The Mayor expressed utter disappointment over the snail-paced action taken by the Sta. Lucia Realty and Development Company in a zoom link-up teleconference with SLRDC chief executive officer Exequiel Robles, in the course of an inter-agency meeting the city executive convened purposely to thresh out solutions to the long overdue issues and concerns that were never given appropriate attention by the developer over the past 2 decades.
In the same meeting, Regional Director Mary Amoroso of the Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development informed the attendees that the permit to sell of the realty firm was suspended last November, 2017 in view of selling operations that did not apply for and secure appropriate permits as called for under existing regulations aside from on the verge of being allegedly blacklisted by the agency for the company’s reported failure to act on the raised legitimate issues and concerns that caused the suspension of its license to sell over 33 years ago.
Officials of the Pinewoods Homeowners Association representing about 75 residents and nearly 300 lot owners also briefed the Mayor and Sta Lucia head Robles on security, peace and order, water supply lack, and deficient public utilities in the area that needs immediate action from the company but the same might have fell on deaf ears.
Mayor Magalong minced no words in irately expressing his disappointment that lingering issues including the socialized housing requirement for the development did not push through and remains an unfulfilled development requirement for the Baguio-Tuba project.
He also called the attention of Mr. Robles over the unanswered letter communications sent to Sta. Lucia in the last 3 months, regarding the city plan to set up a sewage treatment facility at the perimeter fringes of the subdivision property of the realty firm.
“I am giving due notice to Sta. Lucia to act on the unserved development commitments in the subdivision and respond to pressing issues on peace and order and water supply,” he declared, adding that “I will not hesitate to cancel the building permit and other clearances issued in the construction project of the company along Leonard Wood Road.”
The development project is also being confronted with some cases that were filed by the heirs of Tunged for the same have allegedly intruded into the ancestral claim of the Ibaloi family thereby depriving them of their rights over their claims in the said area. - Dexter A. See