Decano: Erfe-Mejia favors transfer of city hall

DAGUPAN City Administrator Farah Decano said the city should already unite behind the move to transfer the city hall to another location

She noted during the public hearings that contrary to impressions that Councilor Redford Mejia is objecting to the transfer of the city hall from its present location to another, she said he actually supports the transfer.

What Erfe-Mejia is objecting to merely, she said is the transfer to the land donated by Kerwin Fernandez, the brother of Mayor Belen T. Fernandez.

Quoting Erfe-Mejia, she said Erfe-Mejia, the transfer of city hall is not an issue at all.

Decano said this is the reason why Fernandez deferred the signing of the ordinance for two more weeks approved by the city council authorizing her to accept and sign in behalf of the city the deed donation offered by the mayor’s brother.

“Mayor Belen wants to give other Dagupenos the chance to also donate their property as possible site of the city hall so that the choice will not be limited to the land donated by her brother,” said Decano.

Decano echoed the mayor’s appeal and challenged those who oppose the Fernandez donation to find another donor for a land in any of the new growth centers that is equal to or better than the value of Fernandez’s donation.

The Pantal-Lucao area was already specified as the location of the new city hall in the newly Comprehensive Land Use Plan approved by the national board of the Housing and Land Use and Regulatory Board.

Decano chided those who are opposed to the transfer for not presenting their own alternatives.  She said opposing simply for the sake of opposing is not helping the dialogue.

Asked by newsmen whether he can offer to make a donation, Erfe-Mejia said he does not own a piece of land but he hailed the move of the mayor in seeking other donations.

On the allegations of corruption by Erfe-Mejia and Vice Mayor Brian Lim, Decano said she and City Legal Officer Victoria Cabrera would not stake their good names as lawyers in the donation if the transaction is not above board.

Former City Planning and Development Coordinator Romeo Rosario, said the present city hall built in 1925 is dilapidated and its ground floor is always flooded during high tide or occurrence of heavy rains.

Meanwhile, Pantal kagawad Philip Maramba, said he deplores the insinuation of Erfe-Mejia that his late grandfather who also donated his land to the city was also guilty of corruption.

Orlando Navarro Jr., also a Pantal kagawad, said that if Erfe-Mejia believes that the donation is tainted with corruption, he should have filed the case with the Ombudsman.

Former Pantal Barangay Captain Lilia Yasar wondered why the city council is still holding consultations when the majority in the city council is in favor of the ordinance. (Leonardo Micua)