BANAUE, Ifugao – The Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 34 denied the petition to extend a 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) it issued in response to a petition filed by various interest groups seeking to stop the construction of the P55 million 7-storey pay parking building in this mystical town for lack of merit.
The 72-hur TRO was a temporary setback for the ambitious pay parking facility but the court decided not to extend the same to 20 days for lack of merit on the petition.
Mayor Jerry C. Dalipog welcomed the recent court ruling on the petition that seeks to stop the municipal government from pursuing the project, saying that the court found no merit on the arguments of the petitioners that the area where the pay parking building will be built is considered to be geologically unstable.
The local chief executive admitted they had a recent dialogue with those opposing the pay parking facility which is led by barangay officials in the area but it seems those who declared their opposition to the project allegedly have closed their minds on the matter even as the municipal government offered solutions to address their concerns.
For example, Mayor Dalipog offered that despite the previous conduct of boring and geohazard tests that proved that the area is stable with the introduction of appropriate mitigating measures, he offered to repeat the same procedure in order to address their doubts on the matter but the opposition to the project rejected such offer.
In maintaining an open space within the facility, Dalipog added that he agreed that the 38 market stalls that will be built to accommodate the vendors that were temporarily displaced will be moved towards the side of the structure in order to have an open space but again the oppositors to the project refused to agree to such offer considering that what they wanted is that there will be no structure that will be built in the area.
The municipal mayor cited while the petitioners appealed toe denial of their petition for the issuance of a temporary restraining order to stop the project to another court, he appealed to them not to resort to intrigues and rumor-mongering just to advance their own personal and political interests, saying that the project is geared towards addressing the absence of sufficient parking areas for visitors, especially during the peak season.
It was learned that the site where the pay parking structure will be built was the former site of the satellite market that was previously condemned by concerned government agencies and the local government. The ground floor will still house the 38 market stalls while the second to seventh storeys will be able to accommodate around 114 motor vehicles at one time.
On the allegation that the site is an alleged ‘sinking area,’ Dalipog asserted appropriate geological and boring tests were undertaken which subsequently resulted to the issuance of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) that outlined the details of the interventions that should be done by the contractor to address and implement the mitigating measures that will guarantee the stability of the structure to be built.
Because of the inadequate funds of the municipal government to pursue the project, the mayor disclosed securing the P55 million loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) was agreed upon by the local officials in order to realize the project which has been a clamor of numerous tourism establishments and offices operating in the municipality.
He added the repayment period for the acquired loan will be fifteen years with part of the town’s internal revenue allotment serving as collateral for the loan in case the local government will not be able to settle its annual obligation. By Dexter A. See