Megaworld Corporation

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An amicable settlement has been reached between the Araneta Group of Companies and residents of Barangay 41, Bacolod City, in preparation for the entry of Megaworld, Bacolod Councilor El Cid Familiaran said yesterday.

Megaworld is planning to build its first township, to be called The Upper East, on the 34-hectare property of what used to be the Bacolod-Murcia Milling Co. on the eastern side of Bacolod City.

Familiaran, chairman of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Urban Poor, Housing and Resettlement, said the more than 100 families will receive financial assistance amounting to P10,000 each, from the Araneta Group of Companies, to help them transfer to the Arao Relocation Site.

However, the relocation site is not ready since it has no electricity and water connection yet, he said.

The residents have requested for the installation of street lights and water pumps before they are relocated to the Arao Relocation Site, Familiaran said.

This is a requirement under Republic Act 7275, or the Urban Development Housing Act, before the eviction of informal settlers, he said.

Familiaran said the Central Negros Electric Cooperative has estimated that the installation of electricity at the Arao Property will cost the city between P1.3 million to P1.5 million. This will undergo a bidding process with the General Services Office.

But they are still looking for funds to address this problem, he said.

They are also waiting for Ceneco to submit the Bill of Materials to the Bacolod Housing Authority, he added.

The residents are also requesting for a joint ocular inspection by the City Engineer’s Office and City Environment and Natural Resources Office, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, to identify the boundaries because of an easement near the river, Familiaran said.

Familiarian will conduct another committee hearing on August 27 with the DENR, CEO, National Housing Authority, including the Yanson Group of Companies and the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation that have offered to help in the installation of electricity and water connection at the Arao Relocation Site.

Familiaran said the residents are requesting the Araneta Group of Companies for additional financial assistance.

Aside from providing them the lot, the city will help the residents in hauling their housing materials during their transfer to the relocation site, he said.*CGS

SOURCE: The Visayan Daily Star

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