LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The proposed construction of the controversial Benguet State University (BSU) mall project is not a walk in the park for the developer because of the need to undergo the stringent processes aside from conducting a series of consultations.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda reported that the State-owned higher education institution and the developer have no pending application with the municipal government for the issuance of the required permits thus, it has not acquired jurisdiction on the matter although it remains vigilant on the ongoing activities in the area to prevent any movements that indicates the put up of temporary structures in the project site.
He said that the site where the proposed 4-story mall will be erected is one of the congested areas in the municipality which need a series of consultations with concerned sectors to ascertain the acceptability of the project in the area, among other related issues on the preservation and protection of the environment, such as traffic impact assessment and solid and liquid waste management.
The municipal chief executive claimed that concerned offices of the local government are taking into consideration all the issues and concerns being raised by the public for or against the proposed mall project for these to be appropriately addressed in future consultations on the matter although it will surely take a lot of time to resolve such related matters, like what happened to the local government’s mall project that was supposed to be reacted right in the heart of the valley.
According to him, there are numerous valid issues and concerns being raised against the project and the municipal government is simply awaiting the submission of the formal application by the developer for the issuance of necessary permits so that concerned offices will mandate the proponent to justify the importance of putting up the project within a congested area of the municipality that will surely contribute to the complication of related issues arising from the large-scale construction activity.
The mayor asserted there is no need to rush things for the realization of the aforesaid project because of issues and concerns being raised by the public some of which are within the jurisdiction of other government line agencies, thus, the need for the issuance of related permits before the municipal government will formally act on the matter.
Earlier, the municipal government partnered with a developer for the proposed put up of a mall project within the parking area along Km. 5 but this did not push through due to some controversial issues and concerns raised against the project.
On the other hand, BSU also partnered with Graceland Corporation for the proposed put up of a 4-story mall within a 4,000-square meter area that is still classified as an institutional zone even without allegedly passing through the prescribed university processes and past administrations did not pursue the same due to reported loopholes that might open the floodgates for the filing of charges against them.
Netizens have expressed their vehement opposition to the put up of the mall as the same will defeat the purpose of the university for the advancement of education in the province and the region as a whole.
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis