Ormoc City looks into rent dispute

ORMOC CITY, Leyte, Aug. 24 (PNA) – Officials of a remote village here are in a quandary over whether they have to pay rentals for the local government site, which has long been standing on a private property, or not.

Located 17 kilometers west from downtown, Mas-in forms part of Ormoc’s rice granary along with other nearby communities.

In a resolution dated July 11, 2015 asking help from Mayor Edward C. Codilla, the village council said that the basketball court had been standing for the past 20 years while other structures like the village hall, health center and daycare center were built in 1999 in a private property.

The structures are said to occupy seven parcels of land originally owned by the late Victoriano Taneo. The officials are unable to present documents on how the village government was able to construct structures on a private land. It is also unclear how such an arrangement escaped the notice of the Commission on Audit.

Now, two of Taneo’s great grandchildren, Victor Taneo and Cecilia T. Nuñez are demanding rental payment from the village at Php 30 per month for the past 16 years, totaling Php 40,320.

But the officials, led by village chief Eugene Cabahug are disputing the legality of the collection.

According to them, since no rental for the use of the land was demanded by the original owner, it was understood that the property’s use by the village government was gratuitous.

Moreover, the great grandchildren Victor Taneo and Cecilia T. Nuñez don’t have authorization letters from their four other siblings in demanding for payment.

The mayor referred the matter to the city legal office. For his part, Mariano Y. Corro, president of the village chiefs association, admonished both parties to settle the dispute amicably to maintain their goodwill with each other rather than going through costly and time-consuming litigation procedures. (PNA)