Cebu City Gov’t cuts off water supply-A A +A
Saturday, July 14, 2012
THE Cebu City Government has cut the supply of water for the Mahiga Creek settlers who are taking shelter at the City Hall-owned Block 27 in the North Reclamation Area (NRA).
The development followed Mayor Michael Rama’s announcement that it’s high time the families moved from the area to a relocation site, since they’ve been staying there for more than a year.
Request for extension
Gemma Rosaseña, president of the San Isidro II Homeowners’ Association, said they already sent a letter asking Mayor Rama to let them stay longer at the City-owned property until the relocation site is ready.
She said the City stopped supplying water last Thursday to the families affected by the demolition along Mahiga Creek.
Residents expect the City to cut the electricity next, she said.
City Hall cleared the banks of the Mahiga Creek after a widespread flash flood that hit Metro Cebu in January last year.
Councilor Alvin Dizon, chairperson of the council’s committee on housing, lamented the City’s move to cut the supply of water for the Mahiga Creek families.
“I am deeply hurt. In the first place, the families never asked the City for a free supply of water. It was the City who offered such to them,” he told Sun.Star Cebu in a phone interview yesterday.
Rosaseña said they can no longer do anything about the matter.
However, Rosaseña said the Mahiga Creek families are planning to apply for a temporary supply of water from the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) to meet their daily needs.
This time, she said that the families will pay for the water bill.
At present, there are estimated 26 families taking temporary shelter at Block 27.
Initially, there were about 50 of them who were brought to the site after the City demolished structures within the three-meter easement of the Mahiga Creek. About 18 of them eventually went home to their provinces or looked for other places to rent in the city.
Past the deadline
In a separate interview with Sun.Star Cebu yesterday, Rosaseña said she believes they will still have to stay at Block 27, considering that the relocation site promised to them by the City in Barangay Budlaan is not yet ready for occupancy.
Asked about the matter, Mayor Rama said he wants the chief of the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor, Atty. Collin Rosell, and the City’s Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to explain to him why the relocation site is not yet ready.
The mayor said he is wondering what they are doing to address the matter.
“Dugay na kaayo na (This has taken too long),” he said.
The Mahiga Creek settlers were supposed to stay at Block 27 only until June 30.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 15, 2012.