Las Piñas residents raise a howl over new access road being built by the Villar family

By Eileen Mencias

Residents of BF Resort Village in Las Pinas City have expressed concern over the construction of a new road along the Zapote River being built by the family of ultra bilyonaryo Manny Villar.

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Several trees have been felled for the new road construction, including a Narra tree and a mango tree which residents say were at least 40 years old.

Senator Cynthia Villar’s camp owned up to the construction of the access road leading to the Bacoor bridge but it remains unclear whether it was a government project or not.

The construction of the new road had no signs or billboards that usually informs people who the contractor is and that the construction has the blessing of city hall.

There were also no signs or billboards showing a permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the cutting of the trees.

When visited the site, there were 2 backhoes, a truck, and a cement mixer that had “MGS Ready Mix Inc.” painted on its side.

MGS Ready Mix Inc. is part of the MGS Group which is widely believed to be owned by the Villar family as its listed address is the family’s Starmall Annex in Las Pinas.

The new road appears to be headed towards the bridge that the Villars built over the Zapote River towards their farm in Bacoor, Cavite so motorists can skip the road of BF Resort Village to get to the bridge that BF Resort residents opposed from the very beginning.

The bridge from Onelia Jose St. in BF Resort that leads to Villar’s farm is just one of three bridges connecting the Las Pinas River Drive to Bacoor. There is another bridge from BF Resort’s Vatican Drive to Bacoor that directly leads to Dear Joe, a restaurant owned by the Villars. The third bridge is further down River Drive and leads directly to The Coffee Project, another Villar food business.

The River Drive was built during Senator Mark Villar’s stint as secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

BF Resort Village residents are concerned over the safety of the River Drive, claiming it is not structurally sound.

Instead of cutting the old trees whose roots run deep in the soil and have been keeping erosion at bay, residents said the contractor should have taken down the bamboos, dug it out, and put reinforced steel to ensure the structural integrity of the road it is building.

The senator said 16 trees would be cut to give way to the construction of the new road but said they would be replacing it with 1,000 trees.

Her camp likewise claimed that they secured a permit from the DENR to cut down the trees.

(Eileen Mencias)

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