News Release

PBBM backs ‘old system’ to address ROW issues to speed up key infra projects

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has supported on Wednesday the old process of addressing right-of way (ROW) issues to fast track the completion of major infrastructure projects in the country.

The old process was to secure the writ of possession after making a 15 percent initial payment for the property affected by the ROW process, according to discussions during a meeting between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the Private Sector Advisory Council-Infrastructure Sector Group (PSAC-ISG) and other concerned agencies in Malacañan Palace.

“That’s very, very timely because we had a briefing on the flagship projects and the delays — talagang malaking delay sa right of way. So, I spoke to the SolGen about it. I spoke to Chiz and to Martin — the Speaker and the SP and I said there is a bill. There’s a house bill that’s going through the process that wants to amend the right-of-way process,” President Marcos said.

“So, now, what we suggest, ibalik niyo na lang sa dati. After you pay 15 percent, turnover na. Now, if you want to argue about valuation whatever it is then go ahead but the project can already begin. So, they’ve (legislators) agreed to that.”

The President said the executive branch will draft an accompanying bill for the Senate to file when deliberations resume. The same, he said, will be the basis for the final draft that will come out in Congress.

The government is resorting to the old system, which, he said is reasonable at 15 percent upfront payment before land turnover. Owners can take any legal action they want if they feel they deserve it, he added.

Rogelio Singson, a member of the PSAC-ISG, told the President there’s no issue regarding cost as the government is offering market price. The problem, he said, comes from the actual process.

“As you said, you just need the deposit and then go to the expropriation, let the courts decide how much will be the eventual cost, but the writ of possession has to be issued,” Singson said.

“Because Mr. President once the writ of possession is issued by the court, then the project can already proceed.”

PSAC has recommended for the creation of a dedicated Right-of-Way (ROW) Technical Working Group (TWG) similar to the Inter-Agency Committee for ROW for national railway projects involving critical agencies to streamline the acquisition of ROW for key Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFPs) such as toll roads, airports, and seaports.

Some of the key IFPs of the DPWH and DOTr encountering ROW issues are the Cagayan de Oro Diversion Road Extension (Junction Sayre Highway-Manolo Fortich-Malitbog-Claveria-Eureka, Gingoog City Road); Davao City Bypass Construction Project; Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge; LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project; and EDSA Greenways Project. PND