NO CITY HALL TRANSFER
DAGUPAN City Mayor Brian Lim will not pursue the plan of the Belen Fernandez administration to transfer the city’s government center from its present location in the Central Business District (CBD) to an area along the Pantal-Lucao Growth Center.
Instead, Lim is seeking the reversion of P100 million allotted by the previous city administration in the 2019 annual budget to be used for other still unidentified projects.
This was indicated in the October 25, 2019 letter of City Planning and Development Officer (CPDO) James Louell Fernandez to Councilor Michael Fernandez, chairman on the Committee on Appropriations dated, in response to the latter’s query if the city government will continue to pursue the transfer of City Hall whose proposed location was specified in the approved Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) for 2020-2025.
Councilor Fernandez made the query during the committee hearing for Supplemental Annual Investment Program and Budget No. 3 held on October 19 where the P100 million initial outlay for the proposed government center was sought to be reverted.
“The present administration’s position is . . . . that the proposed budget and loan facility for the proposed government center should be used by the City for its constituents’ immediate needs,” CPDO Fernandez started in his letter.
He cited the distance of the location of the proposed government center from the CBD and therefore inconvenient for most of the constituents of Dagupan City.
In addition, CPDO Fernandez said new inputs from various sectors indicated they are opposed to the transfer of the City Hall, a contrary position to results of a citywide public hearing conducted by the SP during the Fernandez administration that overwhelmingly endorsed the proposed transfer of the government center.
In lieu of the planned transfer, CPDO Fernandez said the Lim administration intends to pursue a comprehensive urban renewal program for the CBD which, he said, “is located in one of the Growth Centers identified in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), namely the Poblacion Growth Center”.
He said that retaining the City Hall in its present location at the Poblacion Growth Center and redeveloping it to meet the present needs of the City will reinforce and reinvigorate the image of the City Hall as the principal landmark of CBD.
City hall observers, however, believe CPDO Fernandez may have failed to consider that the CBD is already prone to heavy flooding during the rainy season because of its low topography. (Leonardo Micua)
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