The Lopez family, owner of P23.8 million property where the sanitary landfill in Brgy. Felisa, Bacolod City was constructed, is demanding payment from the Bacolod City Government of its remaining balance of P3.8 million, after its payment of P20 million at the time of the sale.
Roy Lopez yesterday said their family, under the corporate name of Dynasty Agricultural Corporation, has entered into an agreement with the Bacolod City Government with a deed of conditional sale of their property in Hda. Felisa to be used for the city’s solid waste disposal on July 8, 2008.
“After the initial payment last 2008 for the 7-hectare property, the remaining balance of P3.8 million should have been paid within one year provided that we pay the real property tax within that period,” he said.
Lopez said they have diligently complied with that condition but the city represented by Mayor Evelio Leonardia has not complied with the agreement, after numerous demand letters that they personally presented to the office of the mayor from 2009 up to the present time.
Lopez said that, “Based on the deed of conditional sale, Hda. Felisa is still our family’s property since the requirement of our agreement has not been fully complied.”
Jose Manuel Lopez said they have the title of the property and what the Sangguniang Panlungsod only ratified was a deed of conditional sale.
He said the city bought the 7-hectare property and only paid them P20 million so it still has a balance of P3.8 million.
The reason why they are trying to demand payment is that they have already complied with their obligation under the contract, Jose Manuel said.
He said there is no politics involved since the mayor is their friend. But since election time is approaching, they might have difficulty collecting the remaining balance if a new administration comes in, he added.
Jose Manuel said they do not want to rescind the contract since the city has already invested P32 million for the sanitary landfill and that they do not know how to operate the facility. But if they are left with no choice, that is a possibility, he said.
Leonardia said “We recognize and we respect the collection effort of the Lopez family. However, on our part, we have to make sure that everything is in order before we finally pay the total amount.”
He said the city was not financially in a position to pay the whole amount when the property was purchased, so it only paid P20 million.
Leonardia said they did not only buy the lot for a sanitary landfill but they also purchased the road lots since they want to ensure that the entry of the dump trucks to the landfill site will not be blocked as what had happened in the past at the Mandalagan dumpsite. They also want it improved and cemented so there will be no delay in the collection of garbage in case of bad weather, he said.
With everything is in order, they will comply with whatever is legally possibly, according to the Commission on Audit regulations, Leonardia said.
Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson said the P3.8 million is an obligation they have to pay. But there are some items they need to clarify with COA before they will be allowed to release any additional payment, he said. Once COA allows them to pay, they will pay immediately, he added.
Sayson said since there was already substantial payment and there is a conditional deed of sale, “I believe that the city is already legally allowed to construct (an SLF facility) in the property.
He said the P20 million used to purchase the property came from the savings of the city, while the P32 million used to construct the sanitary landfill came from a loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines.
It is actually a back-to-back loan, which means it is a loan against the Internal Revenue Allotment share of the city from the national government which it deposited to DBP, Sayon said.
Meanwhile, Councilor Archie Baribar said he will file a resolution asking the city to settle its account with the Lopez family before having the matter investigated. They have to explain to the people why it took so long for an obligation to be paid, he said.
Asked for his comment, Leonardia said “That is up to him but I do not mind, since everything was transparent.”*CGS