DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 April) – The construdction of the first phase of the 20-hectare Davao City Sports Complex at the University of the Philippines Mindanao campus will begin soon as settlers had given their consent after negotiations with school administrators.
Allan Logronio, president of the Sitio 117 Settlers Association, said they were gathered last Thursday at the City Council where they were met by UP administrators and the Committee on Rules.
Logronio said they were convinced after UP Mindanao assured the organization that they would not be kicked out of the campus.
Administrators have told the association that they would only be relocated to another part of the campus.
Logronio added that the city government will begin tagging of the property soon.
Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte has publicly admonished the settlers for opposing the property development.
However, the city council was at first hesitant to pass a measure initially approving the construction of the complex via a memorandum of agreement with the claimants still having an unresolved case with the Board of Liquidators.
Duterte, meanwhile, said he did not recognize the settlers’ claims.
Logronio estimates there are around 50 claimants within the 20-hectare property.
Administrators from UP in earlier reports said they were willing to work with the settlers and that the relocation would be gradual and sustainable.
Congressman Isidro Ungab said he would disallow any more dislocation of settlers outside the 20-hectare property.
Ungab chairs the house appropriations committee which approved the P200 million budget for the project via the Department of Public Works and Highways. (MindaNews)