DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 April) – The city council passed on second reading an ordinance granting Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte authority to sign for the city a proposed memorandum of understanding with the University of the Philippines for the construction of a sports complex at UP Mindanao’s property in Mintal here.
The measure was passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod during its regular session Tuesday after an emergency committee hearing held last week.
Councilor Bernard Al-ag, who chairs the committee on rules and privileges, meanwhile, asked the settlers to allow both UP and the city government access to the property to help tag the existing structures and crops within the 20 hectares.
Al-ag said the city has scheduled the initial tagging of the property within the week.
Claimants in UP have agreed to be relocated, granted the relocation site is still within the university’s 204 hectare property.
The agreement adheres to a 1998 MOA between both parties.
The settlers, however, asked the city government to reconsider the site of the construction to an area at San Gabriel, Tugbok District.
Speaking before the councilors, Allan Logronio, president of the Sitio 117 Settlers Association, said they were hoping the government could “realign” the development elsewhere where there are no settlers.
The measure was passed after councilors who initially had doubts about the project received an explanation regarding the draft MOU from the City Legal Office, represented by lawyer John Christopher Mahamud.
Mahamud explained to councilors the MOU would only allow UP and the city government to assign responsibilities.
While the city recognizes the 1998 document, Mahamud said the new MOU “would not supersede the old MOA” signed between the city and Emil Javier, former president of the UP System.
The General Appropriations Act of 2015 allocated P200 million for the creation of a track oval, multipurpose gyms, as well as facilities like lights for the initial phase of the project.
Another P50 million was allocated for the construction of an access road from Manambulan.
The Department of Public Works and Highways has been contracted for the project, with the agency waiting for UP’s design for bidding to begin.
The project is expected to be completed in 20 years, with funding coming from different sources.