Lopez: Council can’t relinquish ‘mandate’ on property unless

THERE is a need to amend the Local Government Code in order for the city government to let go of its mandate to review and approve development permits, and other applications related to property, real estate, and housing, a councilor said.



Councilor Rene Elias Lopez, speaking to reporters at the weekly Pulong Pulong ni Pulong, said that the city government’s hands were tied since the law, also known as Republic Act 7160, requires them to review applications.

Property developments have to go through a stringent process, through various agencies which include the local government’s legislative body before their development applications are given the go signal by each location.

According to real estate developers, this was a cause of delay in the development of homes, which also include low cost housing for the urban poor.

“That would lighten the load of the councilors at the city council,” Lopez said.

Last week, the Office of the Vice Mayor heard a report about a certain councilor from the third district who was allegedly asking for grease money for an application.

Lopez has since denied that his committee, the mother committee on housing and urban and rural development, was involved in any illegal activity.

Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag added that his office has started its initial investigations on the rumor.

However, there was no name that was forwarded to the Vice Mayor since the rumor circulated.

Al-ag said that the complaint likely came from a developer who sought for a permit of allowable use for a quarrying activity.

There are five pending applications for allowable use for quarrying.

Lopez said that applications for allowable use for quarries require the assistance of three other committees, namely the committees on public safety and security, environment, and finance.

Lopez called “improbable and impossible” that the committees would have time to influence any application by quarry developers, as the applications would also have to go through the plenary when it reaches second reading.

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