Dagupan mayor orders study of sale of private road to bus company

DAGUPAN CITY — Mayor Belen Fernandez has ordered the city legal office to study whether the city can initiate the return of an interior road donated many years ago to the Dagupan Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce but which was allegedly sold by then Mayor Benjamin Lim to Victory Liner.

Fernandez, in a talk to newsmen, said as much as possible, she does not want to intervene in the issue but since she is often being asked about it, she must refer this matter to City Legal Officer Victoria Cabrera.

Besides, she said, some members of the Chinese community are complaining why the road donated to the Chamber by the Lioanag family was ultimately sold to the Victory Liner by then Mayor Lim, who is himself a member of the chamber.

The road was earlier donated to the chamber by the Lioanag family to give the Chinese community access to the Chinese cemetery on Perez Boulevard.

Thus, they are now saying that the use of the road as passageway of buses defeated the purpose for which the donation was made and this should better revert to its former owners despite that fact that it was already sold.

Victory Liner and its sister company Five Star, are now using the roads as egress and ingress of their buses to their respective terminals on Perez Boulevard so that they need not pass anymore through the usually congested eastern end of Perez Boulevard.

However, a problem ensued when Victory Liner would not allow a rival company, Solid North, whose terminal is beside the latter’s, to use the interior road that it bought from the chamber, giving Solid North no option but to enter and exit on Perez Boulevard, earning the ire of motorists and the public.

“As much as a possible I do not want to intervene since it is a problem between two companies operating in Dagupan City. Because I am being asked about the matter, I will first ask the city legal office to conduct a background check on this issue for us to make an intelligent comment on the matter,” Fernandez said.

The city council, through the committee on laws and ordinances headed by Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo, earlier asked Victory Liner and Solid North to settle their own problem because eventually, the city will seek the strict enforcement of a long standing ordinance prohibiting bus companies from operating terminals whose egress and ingress are within 100 meters of a city intersection.

Councilor Nicanor Aquino noted that the present egress and ingress of Victory Liner and Five Star bus are still within the 100 meters of a city intersection and therefore are still a violation of the ordinance enacted in 1977 and has not yet been amended.

The city council is opposing the construction of an intermodal transport terminal planned by SM Supermalls Inc. to complement a mall it is building on its lot on M.H. del Pilar Street here because it would still be within 100 meters of a city intersection. Leonardo Micua/PNA-northboundasia.com