A former city councilor of Mandaue City is saying the 6.5-hectare relocation site in barangay Paknaan is unsafe for human settlement.
Victor Biaño, who will run for mayor next year, said a significant portion of the Paknaan relocation site is actually a mangrove (pagatpatan) area.
“When I was still a city councilor, the council didn’t grant the purchase of the lot since it is not safe for a relocation site,” said Biaño, who was with the council in 2007 – 2010.
During his term in the council, Biaño said the Committee on Planning and Development chaired by Councilor Editha Cabahug recommended the disapproval in the purchase of the said lot.
“Ever since timberland mana dinha, ang mga agokoy naa man nagpuyo dinha(Ever since that is a timberland area. Mud crabs used to be abundant there,” he said.
He added that “it’s unsafe for the people to live in or be relocated” in that area.
Biaño said the northern end of the lot is the sea while the southern end is in the Butuanon River. He said if the river will over flow due to the rain and high tide at the same time, the relocation site will be flooded.
However, Biaño didn’t know why the lot was already purchased. He said he was just surprised on knowing that 1,200 households who will be evicted from their settlements in waterways and easement zones cannot be accommodated in the Paknaan relocation site.
Earlier Cynthia Suico, development affairs officer of the Housing and Urban Development Office (HUDO) said only 1.5 hectares out of the 6.5 hectares relocation lot in barangay Paknaan is liveable..
As of now only 527 home lots which is equivalent to 28 square meters for each house is livable.
Suico told reporters yesterday morning that low lying areas in the 6.5 hectares relocation site still needs to be filled with soil to increase its elevation.
Dikes will also have to be built before any filling is done.
Suico said the beneficiaries of the lot will have to work in developing the relocation site as a form of “sweat equity.”
“The development project of the relocation site is a joint effort of the local government and the urban poor,” she added.
Suico said the Mandaue City government will providing the housing materials while the beneficiaries will cover the labor. /Jucell Marie P. Cuyos, Correspondent