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SP sets safeguards for backfilling fishponds

THE Dagupan City Council passed two complementary ordinances in support of the  Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) that identified growth centers.

One ordinance reclassified three parcels of land located near the old Lucao Road leading to Binmaley from agricultural to commercial while the other regulates the backfilling of lots as a result of reclassification that are covered by the city zoning ordinance.

The three parcels of land sought to be reclassified under Draft Ordinance No. 0-648 are all unproductive rice lands along the old Lucao Road while those covered by Draft Ordinance No. 0-674  are lots along the Lucao-Pantal area.

The three lots, all owned by businessman Cesar Duque are a 3,244 square meter lot covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 94991; 7,433 square meters covered by TCT 41622 and 7,433 square meters covered by TCT No. 35425, all considered unproductive unirrigated riceland.

A report said Duque intends to build high-rise condominium buildings in his property.

Councilor Redford Erfe Mejia initially opposed the passage of the ordinance, citing  Duque’s failure to respond to his query whether a one meter of waterway is included in his project.

Councilor Nicanor Aquino, chairman on land use and who moved for the ordinance  prevailed upon Mejia to withdraw his opposition since Draft Ordinance No. 0-674 regulating the backfilling of lots as a result of reclassification covered under the Zoning Ordinance already makes it as a mandatory requirement the provision of one meter waterway for each converted agricultural land.

The one-meter water way, said Aquino, will ensure that there is passageway for floodwaters towards the nearest river in case of rains.

The latter ordinance will also require all property owners converting their lands from agricultural to residential or commercial to submit development plans for their respective projects before their application for reclassification can be acted upon.

The additional requirement was made in respond to allegations that the backfilling of fishponds along the Jose de Venecia Expressway may have exacerbated flooding in the city.

The allegations were refuted by Mayor Belen Fernandez, in a talk over GMA’s “Balitang Amianan”, citing a certification by DENR that the backfilling was not contributory to the floods as existing waterways remained open. (Leonardo Micua)

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