Reloc site identified for families affected by mega-dike

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Friday, July 11, 2014


THE Cagayan de Oro City Government said it has already identified a potential relocation site for the residents who will be affected by the mega dike project, a 12-kilometer flood-protection structure which is expected to be built in 2015.

City Social and Welfare Development (CSWD) officer Teddy Sabuga-a told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro on Thursday that Barangay Balubal is the most feasible relocation for the approximately 2,000 affected families.

“There is a relocation site for them; Balubal is the model area. Logically, when you make a project where people will be affected, there has to have a relocation site for them, otherwise the project will be non-sense,” Sabuga-a said in a weekly press conference at Cagayan de Oro Press Club.

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Shelter plan

On Thursday, CSWD announced the drafting of its Shelter Plan which according to them is the ultimate answer to the problems of houses affected by flood and other calamities, and government projects.

“First and foremost, a house would not get flooded if it was well-planned prior to its construction. It’s all in the planning so that is why we are trying to focus on that aspect,” he said.

In the plan, shanties built along waterways and creeks are also included.

He added that dwellings along Bitan-ag creek in Claro M. Recto Avenue get flooded every time there is downpour. It is one of city government’s priorities under its program “Hapsay Sapa.”

“Residents should not build their houses in the “no-build zone.” Obvious man jud kaayo na. But of course, the role of the government is to listen to its people as to whatever their cries are,” he said.

“We are taking baby steps on this since we do not want to have rash decisions. But this would not be that difficult since there is an intervention from the national government,” Sabuga-a added, referring to the mega dike construction.

An Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) must be issued to the city government before the site development and the relocation.

Doubtful

Rhodora Bulosan, regional coordinator of women’s group Gabriela-10, however, doubts if all families affected will all be given a house and lot at the relocation site.

“Even the Sendong-affected families have not all been transferred to the relocation site yet, how much more to those who will be affected by the megadike construction?” Bulosan said.

Bulosan is a Sendong survivor but did not apply for the relocation program of the City Government since the damages to her properties are not that massive compared to her neighbors, she said.

“Some of my neighbors are still at their temporary shelters. There are also families [still living in] their temporary shelters since there are no relocation houses for them. That stretches from Cala-cala to Consolacion. I do not think the [city] government is prepared. If there is, I do not know if that is true,” she said.

Bulosan emphasized that they are not against whatever development the city is undertaking.

“We support the government, actually. But they must also know that their priority should not only be up to the investors but also the people,” she added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 11, 2014.

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