Pueblo de Oro rejects allegations of Cebu illegal land conversion

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Pueblo de Oro Development Corp. (PODC) logo

PUEBLO DE ORO Development Corp. (PODC) said it rejects allegations that it is building a project in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on inalienable forest land.

In a statement released Oct. 3, the company said it has official documents proving that the site of its subdivision is “alienable and disposable land.”

“PODC will present the aforementioned documents (and other evidence) to respond to the unfounded allegations at the appropriate venue,” it stated.

It noted in the statement that Lapu-Lapu City Regional Trial Court Branch 27 allowed the registration of the property to the original owner Pedro Manayon on Dec. 19, 1997, saying “‘the land was classified as a residential lot in 1967 per Ordinance No. 829 of Lapu-Lapu City Council, and in 1990 was classified as industrial lot per zoning Ordinance No. 290 series of 1990 of Lapu-lapu City.’”

On Nov. 13, 1995, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office issued a certification which declared the site “‘within the Alienable and Disposable block.’”

PODC also noted that Tax Declaration certificates in its name and Mr. Manayon “explicitly” stated that the property is residential land and on Nov. 24, 2011, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through the Region VII Environmental Management Bureau, granted an Environmental Compliance Certificate which covered these projects.

On Sept. 19, the National Bureau of Investigation Environmental Crime Division (EnCD) arrested eight individuals — two engineers and six drivers — who “were caught in flagrante conducting earth-moving operations and dumping materials in the forest land.”

They were arrested for allegedly illegally converting 23 hectares of forest and wet lands covered with mangrove into Pueblo de Oro Cebu Subdivision. They were presented for inquest proceedings for violating Republic Act 10654 (The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998).

EnCD Chief Czar Eric M. Nuqui said the division is still investigating how original and transfer certificate of title were acquired over the property.

“PODC also denies that the two engineers and six drivers arrested by the Environmental Crime Division of the National Bureau of Investigation were caught in the act of conducting earth moving operations and dumping materials in a forest land,” the company said.

PODC is a member of the Investment & Capital Corporation of the Philippines Group. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas