Displaced Lugait residents didn’t feel government help

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Thursday, April 24, 2014


MONTHS after the demolition of houses of residents in Barangay Calangahan, Lugait town, Misamis Oriental last December 4, 2014, groups helping the displaced families said they cannot feel any government intervention for those affected.

Fr. Jiomar Ragandang of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) said their team last visited the shanties of the victims last March.

“Hindi sila okay, sa kalsada pa rin sila nakatira,” Ragandang told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro by phone Wednesday afternoon.

He said that by living near the road, the lives of the residents are at stake, considering the narrow houses they live in.

Even the displaced villagers’ livelihood was gravely affected by the demolition. “Di na sila makapunta sa [fishing] area kasi trespassing,” Ragandang said.

He added that the displaced families live on the donations and relief goods given to them by civilian support groups and other non-government organizations because of the inability to work. Others do odd, irregular jobs to sustain their families.

Now, the residents are clamoring for their relocation and justice for Nixon Tungaw, a resident who was killed during a violent confrontation with the villagers and authorities during the demolition.

On the promise that the displaced families would be transferred to a relocation site, Pastor Saniboy Limbag of United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP) in Initao said: “Gisaaran sa politicians, pero hangtud karon, wala pa nahitabo.”

Ragandag said they did not hear of any help coming from the local government units.

UCCP-Initao along with other groups is also conducting feeding programs, giving of medicines, and other programs to provide for the needs of the victims.

Last week, a reply from Vice President of the Philippines Jejomar Binay has been received by the provincial board of Misamis Oriental granting support for the relocation site of the affected families.

Emily Andea, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer said that a site inspection will be conducted for the said land units this week, while the National Housing Authority-10 will also visit the area next week along with the Lugait Municipal Planning and Development coordinator.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 24, 2014.

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