Cebu City Hall to search outside for relocation sitesCebu Daily News
Cebu City Hall will have to look beyond city limits for relocation sites for its 10,000 displaced riverbank occupants.
Vacant city-owned lots in Laguerta and other upland sites are remote, undeveloped and prone to landslides.
Department for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP chief Collin Rosell said the Local Housing Board which he heads doesn’t recommend the relocation of riverside occupants to city-owned lots in Laguerta, Budlaan and San Jose due to its inadequate development.
Most sites are in the mountains, making them landslide prone during the rainy season, he told Cebu Daily News.
“We have to ensure their safety. We do not recommend their relocation to city lots in the mountains because they are underdeveloped,” he said.
Last June 4 the board inspected city lots in Laguerta, Budlaan and San Jose and found it would be more expensive to develop these areas than acquiring lots in urban barangays for use as resettlement sites.
“The city needs to spend millions to develop these sites and make it safe for socialized housing beneficiaries,” he said.
Rosell said he is waiting for the availability of a P20 million allocation from the city’s five percent calamity funds.
The loan would be used to acquire land for displaced occupants.
A City Council resolution was needed to authorize the disbursement of the appropriation.
About P25 million will be taken from the city’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share and another P78 million from the National Housing Authority (NHA) may also be used for the purpose.
Rosell said they are looking at properties in barangay Basak and Inayawan among others.
He said their search for relocation sites extended to Talisay City in the south and Consolacion town in the north.
“There’s no policy against relocating urban poor families outside of the city,” Rosell said.
Families from barangay Kamagayan now occupy a resettlement site in Canduman in Mandaue City.
Some families that were earlier evicted from pier 1 and barangay Day-as were relocated to resettlement area in Consolacion town and Talisay City respectively.
Rosell said the city government spent for the development of the resettlement areas.
Once the relocation sites are available, DWUP would first work on the transfer of families from disaster areas in Casa del Rio in Talamban, the landslide affected area of Buhisan and Block 27 at the North Reclamation Area.
The NRA was used as a temporary shelter for families evicted from the Mahiga River in Mabolo.
Relocation of other riverbank occupants will follow, Rosell said.
He said the Urban Housing Development Act (UDHA) requires the government to provide relocation for families that started to occupy certain properties prior to the implementation of the law in 1992, prior to any eviction.