Mayor John Dalipe hopes his administration will be able to realize the city government’s long desire to acquire the Cabatangan property from the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and the return of the regional center from Pagadian City back to Zamboanga City.
Mayor Dalipe reported back to work Monday after he tested positive asymptomatic for Covid-19 Tuesday last week when he was scheduled for a meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Malacañang.
“Tiene era yo cosa man hutik cun el di atun Presidente… man cuento era yo por causa del regional transfer y el Cabatangan property. Unfortunately, ya man test comigo, positive,” Dalipe said in his message during the flag raising ceremony Monday, a week after his home isolation.
The mayor was confident to talk about the issues to the President some other time even as he said that he had already sent a letter to Malacañang regarding the matter.
To recall, previous administrations had taken steps for the city government to take over the ARMM property in Barangay Cabatangan, which had been identified as a new government center of Zamboanga to decongest the central business district.
To date, the city has already developed parts of the Cabatangan hill, except the prime lots belonging to the defunct ARMM, with the construction of the disaster command center, the Balay Silangan and other structures.
Under RA 9054 or the expanded ARMM law, the national government through the Office of the President is mandated to take possession of or buy the properties occupied and owned by the ARMM in non-ARMM areas like Zamboanga City and sell the same to the host local government units. On the other hand, Mayor Dalipe in his letter to President Marcos in July cited a resolution of the Sangguniang Panlungsod seeking to return the regional center to Zamboanga.-(Vic Larato)