FORMER Cebu City councilor Hilario Junjun Davide III, who's running for Cebu governor, promised to make the land swap deal his priority if he gets elected in 2013.
"I assure you that you will not be made irrelevant. If the incumbent occupying Capitol can’t do it ,then I will do it," Davide said drawing cheers from lot occupants who came to Monday's public hearing of the Cebu City Council on a resolution seeking to revive a 2007 land swap proposal to settle tenure problems of almost 5,000 occupants of province-owned lots in Cebu City covered by Provincial Ordinance 93-1.
Rep. Tomas Osmena, Cebu City south district, said the passage of the resolution would pressure Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to reivve the the deal.
Osmena, who's running for Cebu City mayor next year, said that if Rama and Garcia won’t pursue the land exchange, then “you would have a new mayor and a governor to make a deal.”
"If politics is the only language they understand then you have to speak in a language which they understand. Maybe by then, she (Garcia) will look nicer and she will be kinder to you," he said.
The land swap deal which Osmeña offered during his term as Cebu city mayor involves the exchange of Block 27 at the North Reclamation Area with province owned lots in Cebu City.
Osmena said a land swap agreement would give the city government authority to deal directly with the 93-1 occupants.
"My concern is providing security of tenure to lot occupants but still within the parameters of law," he said.
Heads of urban poor groups supporting the land swap deal agreed during the public hearing that it was the best solution to assure them land tenure.
However, yesterday, some 50 members of 11 homeowners associations trooped to Mayor Rama's office and signed a commitment to oppose the revival of the land swap deal.
"Dili mi gusto ug land swap kay maka hatag ra na ug confusion sa among mga members. Dili sad siguro mi nila binoangan kay si vice president Binay ug si governor Garcia mismo ang ni pirma ug kasabutan namo," said Mary Jean Guinto of the Kalunasan Langub Riverside Home Owners Association. /Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac