FIFTEEN years after she issued Proclamation No. 409 in 2003, former President-turned-Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has finally seen thousands of families in Brgy. Apas in Lahug, Cebu City to finally own their housing units.
Arroyo was in Cebu City recently to witness the signing of a compromise agreement between the provincial government of Cebu and the Cebu City government, ending a 15-year-old land dispute over a 32-hectare property in Bgy. Apas she earlier declared as a socialized housing site during her administration.
The compromise agreement was signed by Cebu government officials including Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III, Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña, representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), National Housing Authority (NHA), Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and the residents represented by the Abaca Homeowners’ Association.
The agreement will be submitted before the Cebu City RTC where the case between the Cebu province and Cebu city is pending for the court’s approval.
Arroyo expressed elation over the development saying she will talk to the Office of the Solicitor General, the counsel of the Central Command (CENTCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to act on the Compromise Agreement “within the bounds of the law.”
The subject land is owned by the Cebu provimce since 1918. It then donated the property to the AFP in 1959 for use of the CENTCOM with the condition that should the land not be used for any military purpose, the donation will be revoked and the land will be returned to the Province of Cebu.
When a portion of the area was occupied by illegal settlers, the Province of Cebu revoked part of the donation.