More Dagupeños favor transfer of city hall

CONSULTATIONS END

THERE are more Dagupeños that favor the transfer of city hall than those against as gleaned from the public consultations conducted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) in six barangay clusters from June 27 to July 1.

This was the assessment of Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo, chairman of the committees on laws, ordinances and judiciary, and of land use. He’s also the principal author of the draft resolution seeking the transfer of city hall from A.B. Fernandez Avenue to a 1.2 hectare land donated by the spouses Kerwin and Mary Ann Fernandez and its reclassification from agricultural to non-agricultural for institutional purposes.

However, during the final public consultation held at the City Museum, some residents from Barangay 2 & 3 and Bonuan Binloc massed at the city plaza expressing their opposition to the transfer of city hall. But when none of the protesters spoke to air their concerns during the consultation, some of the attendees suspected they were simply paid to stage the rally.

“The six clusters of barangays have already spoken. The people have already spoken through their barangay captains,” Tamayo said.

He expressed hopes that the councilors are more convinced than ever that approving the ordinance is the best thing for the city.

On oft repeated suggestion of Councilor Redford Erfe-Mejia for the holding of a referendum on the matter, Tamayo, a lawyer, categorically said such an activity would be illegal since the issue is about merely the adoption of ordinance.

“If we are changing constitution, or we are putting up a municipality or adding up or creating a barangay or there is a move to recall elected officials, then a referendum may be necessary,” he added.

He said conducting the series of public consultation was what was called for.

Tamayo said, as soon as other awaited documents, i.e., aerial view of the donated land, an ocular inspection of the property by the councilors and a position paper from the city legal office on the legality of the transfer of the city hall, are accomplished, he will ask for the adoption of the ordinance.

“We are also waiting for the donation of right of way to the property,” Tamayo said.

He added that there is also the necessity to determine the legality of the reclassification of the parcel of land being donated and to also find out if the land subject for reclassification is within the 15 percent agricultural land area of the city that can be reclassified.

He said the measure will first be calendared in the city council for second reading and subjected to a vote in accordance with the rules in the city council. (Leonardo Micua)