City ready to release payment to Asin landowners

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BAGUIO CITY  – Mauricio G. Domogan said the local government has been ready to release the P2.7 million payment to affected landowners of Asin who were affected by the previous operation of the city-owned Asin minihydro power plants.

The local chief executive pointed out that the city has been always ready to release the compensation for the Asin landowners but they have to iron out their differences so as not to complicate the situation once the funds will be released to the individual landowners.\

Because of the series of complaints that there were some landowners who were not included in the list of recipients of the funds that was initially submitted to the city, he granted the request of some landowners to conduct another survey in the area so that those who were not included in the original list will be included so that the funds available for their compensation will be equitably distributed to them.

The supposed payment of the P2.7 million compensation to the landowners who were affected by the operation of the Asin minihydro power plants was stalled because of the failure of the local legislative body to condone the claim of the city over the supposed compensation for the landowners.

“We will have to undertake another survey to pinpoint those landowners who were not included in the original list so that they will be included once the survey results will show that they are part of these that were affected by the previous operation of the city-owned power plants,” Domogan stressed.

He asserted that the funds for the payment of the compensation of the landowners had been made available by the local government but it was not released after the city filed a damage suit against the landowners who allegedly diverted the flow of the water in the river that affected the continuous operation of the power plants.

He explained that if the city deducted its damage claims that amounted to P2.09 million from the compensation of the landowners, then the landonwers should have only received more than P600,000 which should have been released way back in 2009.

The filing of damage claims against the landowners who diverted the flow of water in the Asin river that affected the operation of the minihydro power plants and the subsequent filing of damage suit against the landowners happened during the previous administration of the local government.

When Domogan came back as the city’s local chief executive in 2010, the local government and the affected landowners agreed to a compromise settlement of the case but the landowners must still seek the concurrence of the local legislative body on the compromise agreement which took sometime before being granted.

He underscored that there is no truth to the claims of some landowners that the local government does not want to settle its obligations with them because the funds had always been ready but the affected landowners have to satisfy some requirements before the payment will be released to them.

By Dexter A. See

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