Mahiga settlers can set up stalls near NRA site
Displaced settlers of Mahiga Creek in barangay Mabolo will be allowed to set up stalls at a government lot used as a “bagsakan” or drop off point near the City Agriculture Office compound in the North Reclamation Area.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who visited the area yesterday, confirmed that settlers can set up their sari-sari stores and junk shops there for the meantime.
But he stressed the area will not be converted into a shelter.
He said the families have to occupy the designated shelter of tents in block 27, NRA located beside the Citom impound area.
“There will always be a limit to the temporary shelter. I will have to talk to the people about that,” Rama said.
Representatives of the Sitio San Isidro II Homeowners Association visited City Hall to seek Rama’s help about their means of livelihood, which was disrupted by the demolition of their shanties.
The mayor, who arrived in a taxi, made an ocular inspection of the clearing site along the Mahiga Creek. His service vehicle and security personnel tailed the taxi.
Rama saw the ongoing creek dredging operations and the portion of the riverbank riprap that collapsed after a heavy rain last Friday.
He ordered the removal of new wooden scaffolds of at least six structures by the creek, which were set up last Sunday by some families.
The settlers had hoped to stay put there until a new vending site was identified but the mayor said clearing operations would continue.
“Mahiga has to be cleared so that the sidewalk will be restored,” he said.
Gerry Marquez, the city’s urban poor consultant, said both sides of A. Soriano Street along the clearing site and on the other side of the road would have to be cleared of illegal structures.
“But we will implement the clearing operations along the creek first,” he said.
Rama said even the other side of A. Soriano Street should be cleared to restore the sidewalk.
Rama then led Mahiga families to the old bagsakan center about 500 meters away.
A portion of the center which stands on a city-owned lot, is now occupied by handicraft and fashion accessories vendors.
These vendors used to have stalls near the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño. Their stalls along Lapu Lapu Street were torn down and they were relocated here. Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac
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