Houses and establishments along the national highway that will be displaced by the ongoing road-widening project will not be compensated if they are within the “road right of way” or are covered by private titles, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) clarified recently.
DPWH District Engineer Alejandro Ventilacion has urged affected property owners to provide documents such as their updated land tax declaration before the government can release any financial assistance to them.
“Kapag ang property nila ay naitayo doon mismo sa right of way at hindi sa titled lot nila, possible na hindi sila maka-claim ng kahit anong assistance. Kasi kapag prinocess natin ang mga claims nila, hihingian din natin sila ng tax declaration, papaano sila mabibigyan kung ang kanilang mga property ay hindi naman nakatayo exactly doon sa titled lot nila?” said Ventilacion.
The 6-lane superhighway project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) aims to expand the 600 km national highway along the mainland Bataraza in the south to the northernmost town of El Nido.
Nomer Laxina, whose house is situated beside the national road, told Palawan News that they are willing to relocate if the government will ask them just as long as there would be a relocation site for people like them.
“Willing naman kaming umalis, kung bibigyan kami ng relocation ng gobyerno,” said Laxina.
RA 10752 or the ‘The Right-of-Way Act’ states that “the government may acquire real property needed as right-of-way site or location for any national government infrastructure project through donation, negotiated sale, expropriation, or any other mode of acquisition as provided by law.”
“Aware din naman sila na kung meron silang itinayo diyan na covered ng rule right of way, kapag kinailangan na ng gobyerno yan, kusang loob nilang ibibigay yan sa gobyerno. In fact, mayroon silang inexecute na affidavit diyan na kung kakailanganin na nga ng gobyerno, evacuate na agad sila, ” said Ventilacion.
Ventilacion added that the initial release of P3B last year to the contractor is intended for road construction and not for compensation of residents that will be affected.
Ventilacion said however that once the budget for the phase 2 of construction is released, financial assistance and other form of help from the government would be prioritized on the list of expenses.
“Maaring ma-iconsider natin ‘yang issue sa compensation at maiforward natin sa regional office para kung ano man ang mga na-encounter natin issues at problema, ma-address na natin sa susunod na phases,”said Ventilacion.