Families divided over new relocation site

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


AMID the threat of landslides, some Tropical Storm Sendong survivors refused to leave the relocation site they are currently staying while the other residents didn’t hesitate to transfer to the new settlement area offered by City Government of Cagayan de Oro.

During the moving-out scheduled on Tuesday, three families went on with the second relocation while nine declined due to various reasons.

When landslides happened during Tropical Depression Agaton, 13 of 34 of the relocated families clamored against the relocation in LGU-Crayola resettlement site in Sitio Calaanan, Barangay Canitoan.

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Jonathan Olano who lives at Block 6, House 5 of the Filipino-Chinese resettlement site declined the new relocation because the new site is “too hot.”

The Filipino-Chinese relocation site is just near his recent home in LGU-Crayola.

Apart from the temperature of the new relocation house, Olano said living there would be difficult because of the dwelling’s structure.

“When you enter the main door, it’s already the living room and the comfort room is also there, and the bedroom’s door is opposite to the main door,” Olano described his supposed new home.

Olano said his family could wait until a new and better relocation site will be available.

He said if the hill at the back of their house would be leveled he would rather opt to stay there.

Like Olano, Michelle Macarayo who lives in the landslide-prone site said if the City Government could flatten the hill, she would remain in the area.

Macarayo said her children are still too young and transferring to a new relocation site that is too far would not be favorable to them.

Macarayo told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that she has yet to know the area of the new relocation.

She added that her family is willing to move in to the new site if they can go back to their present abode after the hill is bulldozed.

“We really like the place if only it is not prone to landslide,” Macarayo said.

Meanwhile, Zenaida Flores said she will transfer to the new relocation site because it is better than her current home, and it is near their source of income.

Although there is no water and electricity yet, Flores contemplated on transferring the basic needs to her new abode.

“I was relocated near the market in which I sell vegetables,” Flores added.

Flores has been relocated in Gawad Kalinga Shell resettlement site.

Another resident, Renato Baring, also moved in to the new relocation site.

“There is no electricity yet and it is the first thing that I should attend to,” said Baring.

Baring regretted spending around P20,000 to make changes in his current home at LGU-Crayon.

Baring said they would surely go back to the first relocation site if the city would allow them to return after changes or improvement can be made in the landslide prone relocation site. He, however, is also amenable to move in to the new house.

Most of the residents who declined relocation wanted to stay in their current homes but called on the city hall to bulldoze the hill to eliminate the threat of landslides.

Elena Sagrado, community affairs assistant II of the city planning and development office, said Sendong survivors were supposed to be relocated in GK Shell, Mahogany and Filipino-Chinese resettlement sites.

She said all the relocation homes were confirmed by the ‘block leaders’ and their neighbors.

Her office will consult the city’s engineering division if something can be done to eliminate the threat of landslide at the LGU-Crayola resettlement site.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 05, 2014.

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