Landowners seek higher payment from gov’t
ILOILO CITY—A group of landowners is demanding higher compensation for parcels of land that the government would use for a P6-billion project to fully develop the Kalibo International Airport (KIA), gateway to the world-famous Boracay resort island.
The group of landowners, which calls itself Nalook, Pook, Caano Association (Napocacia), is also demanding it be consulted first
before the project is implemented.
But the provincial government, which is in charge of right-of-way issues for the national project, said it had already offered reasonable compensation for the landowners and “disturbance fees” for their tenants.
German Baltazar, vice president of Napocacia, said at least 971 landowners
and residents would be displaced by the project which would use up to 142 hectares of land.
The project to expand and widen runways in KIA would run through areas in six villages that included Pook, Nalook, Caano, Estancia, Tigayon in the capital town of Kalibo and Puis in the town of New Washington.
Selwyn Ibaretta, provincial administrator and chair of the committee on right
of way acquisition, said
only lands in the villages of Pook, Nalook Tigayon and Estancia would be covered by the project.
According to Baltazar, landowners were offered last year compensation of P280 per square meter and learned that the new offer has risen to P600 per sq m.
He said no resettlement plan has been presented to landowners. “We should be consulted,” Baltazar said.
Last week, hundreds of landowners and tenants went on a protest march from the airport site to the provincial capitol to air their grievances.
Ibaretta said the P600-per-sq-m offer was presented to landowners in a series
of dialogues and in a hearing conducted by the provincial board.
He said the P280-per-sq-m offer is based on the zonal value of the land.
The P600-per-sq-m offer, he said, “is way higher than the zonal value.” “We cannot offer more than that,” Ibaretta said.
Landowners, he added, “have to question this before the courts if they will not accept it.”
He said the government cannot offer resettlement or relocation.
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