DPWH Iloilo City office moves after ultimatum

DPWH-ICDEO personnel move their equipment to a temporary office in Jaro, Iloilo City after they were publicly evicted by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas from their old location at Fort San Pedro area. (Photo courtesy of Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo)

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

The Department of Public Works and Highways-Iloilo City District Engineering Office (DPWH-ICDEO) moved out from their office at Fort San Pedro area this week following a publicized eviction from the city government.

DPWH-ICDEO personnel relocated on June 6, a day before the ultimatum set by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas.

Treñas told media on Friday that the city government had owned the property for a long time as a donation from the national government.

His ultimatum was detailed in a letter titled “Last and Final Demand to Vacate,” dated May 31, and addressed to ICDEO officer-in-charge Roy Pacanan.

“Please be reminded that the process related to the transfer of your offices has been ongoing for a year, if not more. We believe this is ample time to prepare and complete the transfer, especially since it was agreed to be completed by March 2024. As of this writing, the extension has already been two months,” the letter read.

The letter alleged that despite an agreement for the ICDEO to vacate the premises by March 2024, the latter had not done so.

“The undersigned noted in your aforementioned letter that delays in the transfer were due to water and electrical connections at your new location,” the letter continued. “However, upon verification, no application for an electrical connection has been submitted to the city’s power distributor. The City of Iloilo cannot be held hostage by this factor.”

In a letter to Treñas dated June 6, Pacanan clarified that the office had begun transferring documents and materials since June 1, to a temporary office at Mission Road in Jaro district.

He mentioned that a reconnection request had been submitted by Jason Resources Development Corporation.

Pacanan also requested permission for the DEO to continue using its Information Technology Office within the Fort San Pedro property to ensure the smooth flow of services.

“Upon our final transfer by June 7, 2024, please allow us to use our IT Room, which contains our data cabinet linked to the DPWH Central Office, for us to access our intranet service, ensuring prompt compliance and submission of our vital reports and documents,” Pacanan wrote.

On Wednesday, June 5, Treñas criticized the ICDEO for the slow development of its permanent office on a land in Sooc, Mandurriao district that was donated by the city government three years ago.

“For several years, several appropriations were made by the national government for their building in Sooc. Yet, up to now, we see no DPWH-ICDEO building in Sooc. After three years, the DPWH-ICDEO still resists vacating the city’s land,” Treñas stated.

Despite the recent exodus by ICDEO, the mayor on Friday again ranted at the said office for its lack of gratitude.

He announced that due to this, he had canceled all city government approvals for projects under the ICDEO, including the ongoing Mandurriao Public Market. The city government will seek funds to continue these projects.

“I am utterly disappointed with the DPWH-ICDEO. After using city property for so long, they left without even thanking the city or apologizing for the tremendous delay,” Treñas said on Friday.

“I have canceled all city approvals on DPWH-ICDEO projects on government land – Mandurriao Market, all multi-purpose buildings, and others. These projects are terribly delayed. The city will look for funds to complete the projects. Extreme prejudice has resulted for the residents due to these delays.”

Daily Guardian has reached out to the DPWH-ICDEO for comment, but they have yet to respond as of this writing.

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