Occupants’ resistance, political interventions delay re-blocking
MORE than a month has passed and the Cebu City government has yet to finish clearing the burnt structures in sitio Bato, Ermita following resistance from the occupants backed by opposition officials.
Raquel Arce, who heads the demolition team assigned in the area, said delays in the clearing operation will continue if residents continue to block the clearing operations.
She said they only managed to clear 60 percent of the area.
“Our work depends on the willingness of the occupants to vacate. A lot of them are opposing and they are supported by opposition officials. This would prolong the job,” Arce said.
Arce said they started to fill the watery portion of the community located along the coastal area to level it with the mainland.
She said the filling activity no longer needs a permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) since the area isn’t being reclaimed.
Arce said about 40 displaced families stayed in City Hall tents along the nearby M.L. Quezon Street. The rest of the 200 families opted to stay in the barangay gym while the others are staying with their relatives.
Mayor Michael Rama lifted the suspension order issued last week by Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young on the clearing operations in sitio Bato to expedite the planned re-blocking of the site.
City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete, who was appointed by Rama as acting mayor, met with the affected families staying near the fire site to discuss their relocation. Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac and Correspondent Edison delos Angeles with CNU Intern Jeanymae Ardiente
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