Davao needs P4M for ads on revised zoning ordinance

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/02 September) — The city may have to spend around P4 million for the publication of its amended zoning ordinance, according to the chair of the city council committee on housing.

Councilor Bernard Al-ag said local newspapers can start bidding for the publication as soon as the supplemental budget is approved by this month.

Al-ag’s pronouncement came amid the pending approval by the city council of four items concerning the reclassification of around 30 hectares of land in Barangays Indangan, Catalunan Grande, and Tacunan.

The request for reclassification was filed by Mary Ann Chua, assistant general manager for operations of 8990 Housing Development Corporation and developer of Deca Homes.

The city council had scheduled the reclassification of the properties on Tuesday (Sept. 2). The items were approved on second reading last week.

In an interview Monday at the sidelines of the Kapehan sa SM, Al-ag said the council is not yet bound by the amended zoning ordinance since the item has not been published.

But he said the properties being reclassified “fall into the requirements of the amended ordinance.”

The reclassification request by 8990 asked the city council to rename light agricultural and light industrial areas into high- and medium-density residential areas at the said properties.

An ordinance needs to be published in a newspaper of general circulation and posted at conspicuous public places before it can become effective.

The amended zoning ordinance freezes all reclassification within the city from 2013 to 2036.

“The new ordinance is not yet in effect because of a lack of publication,” Al-ag said. “But we cannot impede development just because of the publishing. We gave them the authority to reclassify the property so they can start the development.”

The councilor said that even with the approval of Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte and the concurrence of the Housing and Land Use Regulation Board of the ordinance, along with the Comprehensive Land Use Program, it could not take effect without a publication.

Al-ag added that last Friday’s meeting on the supplemental budget with the Local Finance Board included an item for the publication of the ordinance.

The winning newspaper, according to Al-ag, would be required to publish a special edition issue that would contain all the text of the document.

“Newspapers can already bid on the publication and publish the document in October once the supplemental budget is approved hopefully by September,” he said.

Last year, environment groups asked the city council to immediately pass the amendment as it defined buffer zones along the city’s rivers that would not allow development for the period prescribed by such amendment. (MindaNews)