By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo has ordered the dismantling of the toll booth at the Dayoyo bridge in Jimalalud town up north.
The order followed complaints from motorists, farmers and pedestrians.
Degamo sent his legal consultant, Atty. Erwin Vergara, to Jimalalud Wednesday for the removal of the toll booth and a boom while exercising the police powers of the provincial government under Section 16 of the Local Government Code.
Dayoyo bridge is one of about 13 bridges in the first district which was badly hit by the Feb 7 earthquake which President Benigno Aquino III himself visited on his birthday to declare the quake-stricken areas under a state of calamity.
Enterprising landowners, however, took advantage of the situation and collected fees at the detour road from passing vehicles, prompting the provincial government to undertake remedies.
Only recently, complaints were received by the provincial government that a certain Edwin Cimafranca was again collecting toll fees, using a tax identification number from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Vergara, also a former provincial attorney, said he is recommending to the governor the filing of expropriate proceedings and was hoping the lot owner will also bring his case before the courts to resolve the issue.
Vegara believes this would be the better solution rather than playing cat and mouse in the area as he stressed that the governor is bent on using his police power for the interest of the greater majority.