Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dagupan Mayor cites “Propriety” on hotel’s construction

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY – The mayor of this city said that her family did not proceed to construct a world class CSI Hotel and Resort because of propriety.
PRESIDENT, MAYOR. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III in a huddle with Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez in the recent turnover of shared service facilities (SSF) in the province of Pangasinan that was held at the world class stadia owned by the family of the mayor.
“I do not want to be accused that because I am the mayor now I could just interfere for the business permit of the hotel my family want to build. That was why I asked them to shelve it,” Mayor Belen Fernandez said.
Earlier, the mayor cited the reason why the hotel that could cater to tourists that come here did not materialize because then Mayor Benjie Lim blocked it by not approving its business permit.
The venue of the hotel supposedly would be near the Stadia in Barangay Lucao.
The Lims and the Fernandezes are mall business competitors all over the province of Pangasinan.
The mayor lamented the parochial and vindictive politics practiced by her predecessor.
Consequently, Fernandez said, this city had been deprived of countless of millions of pesos of revenues and jobs brought supposedly by the tourism industry.
The mayor cited that Philippine Councilors League (PCL) National Secretary General and this City Councilor Maybelyn Dela Cruz-Fernandez and Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers, Inc. Board of Director Romeo Rosario told her that they could bring their national constituents but could not do it because of the absence of a respectable hotel with more rooms to accommodate clients in a national magnitude.
“Sino pa ang mga presidents ng mga national organizations that should be coming in Dagupan but instead preferred Iloilo, Cebu, and other cities because our city could not accommodate their volume,” she cited.
When this paper published an article “Lim Admin blames on anemic tourism industry",supporters of Lim criticized the mayor at social media why as the present chief executive of this city she did not build the hotel former Mayor Lim disapproved.
Voting 9-1 in August 2010 with one abstention, the city council certified the resort and hotel project after conducting a committee hearing that was proposed by Councilor Maybelyn Fernandez, the majority floor leader.
 Lim however issued a memo instructing the City Planning and Development Coordinator and the City Zoning Officer to refrain from giving such clearances for projects to be built on former fishpond lands that were backfilled with only an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) as basis.
Professor Nicanor Melecio, an environmentalist, pooh-poohed the fear that the project might increase the incidence of flood in the area. He explained that the hotel’s plan to construct adequate drainage and cross drainage and a three-meter water way should pacified the anxieties of some people.
Melecio added that since it would be built in Barangay Lucao, identified as one of three new growth areas in the city under the city’s zoning ordinance of 2005, there should be no legal impediment to its location.
The zoning ordinance was based on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) adopted by the city in 2003, which identified Barangays Lucao, Caranglaan and Bonuan as new growth areas of Dagupan.

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