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CONSOLACION, Cebu Mayor Joaness “Joyjoy” Alegado said that those who want to stop the town’s 285-hectare reclamation project are those who occupied the lands free of rental for 50 years with little contribution to the nation.

Alegado said that the reclamation project was conceptualized during the previous administration of his mother, former Consolacion Mayor Teresa “Nene” Alegado, now the incumbent vice mayor.

Alegado added that his present administration is implementing it to expand the economy of Consolacion for the benefit of the majority of the people.

He said Cebu City has the South Road Properties (SRP) while Mandaue City has the North Reclamation Project, both worth billions of pesos.

“We want a separate reclamation project in Barangay Tayud, Consolacion because there is a need for more space for decongestion of industries and accommodation of future investors,” Alegado said.

He said the reclamation project will be located on the shipyards owned by at least five people and who occupied the area for about 50 years or more. The shipyard is a small operation to repair vessels. There is no other economic growth or development, employing only a few persons who are not even from Consolacion.

“This is now high time that Consolacion and its people will use that place. The five shipyard owners are not the owners of the land they are occupying for free for five decades. They only had tenurial instrument of the foreshore area but only expired lease agreements with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),” Alegado said.

“The people of Consolacion in particular and all the Cebuanos in general must know that these few shipyard owners have no more right to operate in Tayud because their tenurial agreement with DENR expired,” Alegado.

He urged the media to refrain from being used by these shipyard owners for propaganda against the Consolacion municipal government especially that the people’s interest is at stake.

“Pa-media sila left and right for their propaganda mileage, sowing false statements to the public because they know they have no reason to stay in that area as their tenurial agreement with DENR has expired and the people should use and benefit from it now,” Alegado added.

He said he is fighting against the rich and influential people; at least he is implementing the reclamation project for the people and not for greedy businessmen. “I don’t consider those who are against the reclamation project as enemies but economic partners. The problem is they don’t understand the purpose of reclamation. They are selfish.

They only think of themselves. They’ve used the area for 50 years. Now, the people should be the ones to develop and expand it,” Alegado said.

He said he wished that his dream will come true like this reclamation project so more people can benefit from the town’s growth. But these few shipyard owners don’t like it because they want to get richer at the expense of the government.

He cited one of the shipyard owners who’ve earned millions of money when the P2.4 billion Cansaga Bridge was constructed, passing on his tenurial property which later expired.

Aside from the fact that the people of Consolacion did not benefit from the shipyard, the Consolacion Municipal Government does not even know about their operation or illegal activities there.

“If this is shipyard, they will only repair ships. But oftentimes, the shipyard has been the unloading point of all sorts of smuggled goods. Have they converted the shipyard into a pier? It’s dangerous. They are not even paying taxes to the government,” Alegado said.