Home General Antique Province to Resume Construction of PHP1 Billion Government Center

Antique Province to Resume Construction of PHP1 Billion Government Center

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Philippines — The ambitious plan to construct a PHP1 billion government center in Antique Province is set to proceed without hindrance, following the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) 6 (Western Visayas)'s decision to reject a local government request for a cease-and-desist order against the project. Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao announced on Friday that DAR-6 Director Sheila Enciso had dismissed the complaint lodged by San Jose de Buenavista Municipal Zoning Officer, engineer Jose Magbanua, who last year raised concerns over the legality of land conversion for the site.

According to Philippines News Agency, 2023, but only received by the provincial government on February 22, 2024, Enciso found no merit in the request to halt the construction. The controversy centered around a five-hectare plot in Barangay Badiang, which Magbanua claimed was agricultural land improperly converted for the development.

Enciso's ruling was supported by a prior opinion from DAR's Central Office, which clarified that Antique Province was not obligated by law to obtain a conversion clearance from DAR before changing the use of the land, acquired through negotiated sale. The lack of necessary documents to substantiate the call for a cease-and-desist order further weakened the case against the construction.

With the legal obstacle now removed, Governor Cadiao expressed optimism about completing the government center within the next 19 months. She emphasized the project's commitment to transparency and its significant role in the development of the province and its residents.

Vice Governor Edgar Denosta highlighted the benefits of the new center, noting its promise of a more spacious and accessible venue for public transactions with the provincial government. He pointed out the current difficulties faced by the populace in the congested business district of San Jose de Buenavista, especially concerning parking.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the government center took place on April 28, 2023. Despite the delay caused by the complaint, provincial leaders are now focused on bringing the project to fruition, aiming to enhance service delivery and convenience for the people of Antique.