DoTr told to review land acquisition process 

PHILIPPINE STAR/ EDD GUMBAN

A CONGRESSMAN on Tuesday asked the Department of Transportation (DoTr) to look into its site acquisition process for a 53-hectare land that affected farmers in Misamis Occidental. 

Party-list Rep. Rodante D. Marcoleta told a House of Representatives hearing he had received a letter from the farmers of Misamis Occidental expressing their concern about their expropriated land. 

He called on the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to review the expropriation process after it allegedly displaced 60 families that were not relocated. 

“Where should we go? We are getting hungry,” Mr. Marcoleta said, citing a letter from the farmers. 

Misamis Occidental Rep. Sancho Fernando F. Oaminal also expressed the same concern for his district. 

“Most of our issues in Misamis Occidental is the site acquisition,” CAAP Chairman Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo told the hearing 

“We are not personally aware of this,” Transportation Undersecretary Roberto C. Lim told congressmen. 

The agency promised to check the expropriation proceedings under the CAAP and follow the rules on expropriation. 

Meanwhile, Party-list Reps. Wilbert T. Lee and Ramon Rodrigo L. Gutierrez said they support the government’s free ride program for commuters. 

More than 80 million passengers will benefit from the program, Party-list Rep. Michael L. Romero said at the hearing. 

The Transportation department had proposed a 2023 budget of P12 billion for the program, but no funding was allotted. 

Budget Assistant Director Maria Cecilia Socorro M. Abogado said they did not allocate funding for the program because they wanted Congress to decide on it. 

Mr. Lee moved to allot P12 billion for the program during the period of amendments. — Kyanna Angela Bulan