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SC taps 11 courts to hasten right-of-way acquisition for infra projects

The Supreme Court (SC) designated 11 courts to handle land expropriation cases to fast-track the implementation of the government's Build, Build, Build infrastructure program.

The two-page memorandum circular granted Public Works Secretary Mark Villar's June 19 letter for designated special courts handling land expropriation. The SC assigned the following regional trial courts:

  • Branch 20 and Branch 22 in Imus City, Cavite
  • Branch 23 and Branch 131 in Trece Martires City, Cavite
  • Branch 90 in Dasmariñas City, Cavite
  • Branch 133 and Branch 134 in Tagaytay City, Cavite
  • Branch 18, Branch 22, and Branch 49 in the City of Manila
  • Branch 232 in Caloocan City

Villar said there are a total of 308 cases pending before courts for the North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway Connector project and the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX).

The department is expected to file over 900 expropriation cases for the two projects in the coming months.

CALAX operator MP CALA Holdings said right-of-way (ROW) acquisition for the expressway is at 90%, as the ROW for the Cavite segment has yet to be acquired fully.

Under Republic Act No. 10752 or the Right-of-Way Act, the court should issue a writ of possession to the implementing agency "immediately" after the landowner is paid.

Despite the law, expropriation cases still move at a snail's pace. This is often blamed for the delay in infrastructure projects. – Rappler.com