- Published on Friday, 15 June 2012 00:00
- Written by DUCKY PAREDES
By A Web design Company
‘This is something that will help spur progress in Cavite and its nearby provinces in CALABARZON (CAvite, LAguna, BAtangas, RiZal, and QuezON), also known as the Southern Tagalog Mainland.’
THE LRT Line 1 South Extension Project starts from the existing Baclaran station through southern Metro Manila (Parañaque, Las Piñas) to the Province of Cavite.
This is a flagship project of the Office of the President. It will add 27 kilometers of rail that will carry 80,000 passengers per hour. The first phase that PNoy says will be finished by 2015 or “I will be very severely disappointed” will have 48 air-conditioned coaches, 12 four-car trains and ten passenger stations. It will serve approximately 1.9 million commuters based in Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas and Bacoor. The second phase of the project will include an 11-kilometer extension to Imus and Dasmariñas.
This is something that will help spur progress in Cavite and its nearby provinces in CALABARZON (CAvite, LAguna, BAtangas, RiZal, and QuezON), also known as the Southern Tagalog Mainland, which is also the most populated region in the country and the richest after the National Capital Region (Metro Manila).
Recently, there have been attempts to find fault with the LRT 1 South Extension Project. This is mostly because of the coming political season. For the local elections in May 2013, for the first time, there is a looming battle royale in Cavite politics.
Congressman Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi, after two terms in Congress, wants to retake Cavite’s capitol as governor. Ranged against him will the sitting Governor Jon-Vic Remulla , a son of former long-time governor Juanito R. Remulla and Jolo Revilla, a son of former governor and movie actor Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. running together for governor and vice-governor.
Since the extension of LRT 1 South began during Gov. Maliksi’s time, what he has done for Cavite in relation to the LRT 1 extension has been in the forefront of the criticism from his political opponents -- the Remullas and the Revillas.
The first P500 million for the project was given to Maliksi as governor and 2nd District congressman by the LRT 1 management for the initial phase of the extension project -- purchase of the lots needed for resettlement of those who will be displaced by the rail tracks. This included the funds for building the roads leading to the resettlement area and other works.
Another P457 million will build the houses for the 2,000 informal settlers who will be displaced by the project. No houses have yet been built Yet, the politically inspired criticism against the project says that Maliksi has made the informal settlers homeless even as the re-settlement phase has not even begun.
Clearly, there will be some displacement of squatters because the extension must pass where the passengers are. Still since no tracks have yet been laid, there has not been anyone dislocated. No one will be. Soon, the construction of the new houses to which the squatters will be transferred will begin -- before they are moved out of their present area..
Another politically inspired issue accuses Maliksi of overpricing the lands bought for the relocation site of the squatters. Since many are within walking distance of expensive subdivisions that sell at P1,000 or more per square meter, a median price of P600 per sq. m. was assigned by the Provincial Appraisal Committee (PAC), which was working with the National Housing Agency (NHA). Here is what the PAC decided:
“Whereas, after careful discussions and considering that the above premises and the facts that the involved properties are classified mixed residential and agricultural with the prevailing value of which ranges from P 200 to P 1,000/sq. m. depending on the proximity on the nearest road, the committee arrived at a decision to value the properties at P 600/sq. m. (median) to be just, fair and reasonable on the part of government.”
At any rate, this was also looked into by the Commission on Audit (COA) whose regional team reacted by at first disallowing the valuation as being too high.
After Maliksi’s explanation, however, the same COA Regional Team which issued the Notice of Disallowance, wrote the COA Regional Director: “Wherefore, it is most respectfully prayed that the disallowance made by the herein Appellees as indicated in the captioned Notice of Disallowance be reversed by your Honorable Office.”
Clearly, whatever political issues come up out of Maliksi’s acts as the local point man for the LRT 1 Extension Project, his loyal opposition composed of the two leading political families in Cavite would rather destroy Maliksi or, failing that, the project itself rather than allow it to prosper even as this project will give their province mates fast and cheaper transportation to Manila and work opportunities. What probably rankles for them is that this will be under Congressman (and later, Governor) Maliksi’s leadership.
Clearly, whoever will be the next governor, specially if the President succeeds in finishing this Private-Public Partnership project by 2015, will be forever credited with having brought modern transportation, signified by the LRT, into Cavite.
That, for the politicos of Cavite, is the more important aspect of the LRT 1 extension project. Thus, each wants to get this for himself and take it away from the other politicos. This raises the stakes in the 2013 election higher than it has ever been for the politicians of Cavite Province. For now, it seems that Maliksi may have the upperhand.