MCWD restores water supply of Mahiga dwellers at recla-A A +A
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
LESS than a week after the Cebu City Government cut it off, water supply to the Mahiga Creek settlers at Block 27 in the North Reclamation Area was restored.
Upon the request of Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district), the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) restored the water supply at the site yesterday morning.
“Gitaoran na gyud mi ug tubig balik. Lipay gyud kaayo ang mga tao (Our connection was restored and the residents are very happy),” said Gemma Rosaseña, president of the San Isidro II Homeowners’ Association, whose members are taking shelter at Block 27.
The City cut off the water supply last Thursday so families will start leaving the property. They were supposed to stay in the area only until June 30.
While he does not oppose the restoration of the water supply at Block 27, Mayor Michael Rama questioned Congressman Osmeña’s move.
“Unsa man na siya? Mayor siya? (Who is he, the mayor?),” he said in his regular news conference yesterday. Former political allies for at least six terms, Rama and Osmeña are expected to face off in the 2013 mayoral elections.
Rama also criticized Osmeña for visiting the Mahiga Creek settlers at Block 27 last Sunday, the same day he called Leo Pacaña of the MCWD to request for the restoration of the water supply at the site.
Rama pointed out that Block 27 was the property that Osmeña wanted to swap with the Provincial Government in 2004, for the lots covered under Provincial Ordinance 93-1.
These lots, occupied by Cebu City’s constituents, were made available at socialized rates, but many beneficiaries have failed to pay in full despite extensions.
If he had not stopped the land swap, Rama said, the City would have been placed at a disadvantage. He said the value of the property then was pegged at P500 million, and only P187 million was needed to pay for the home lots occupied by families in 11 barangays in the city.
“Di siya (Osmeña) mag-hilas-hilas nga moabot diha sa Block 27 (He shouldn’t play the hero at Block 27),” he said.
Osmeña visited the area last Sunday to hear the grievances of the Mahiga Creek families, particularly about the loss of their water supply.
Rama, also in his news conference yesterday, denied that the City has no plans for the families currently taking shelter at Block 27. He said they will be relocated to Barangay Budlaan.
Rama will summon Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor Chief Collin Rosell and the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to explain why the relocation site is not ready until now.
Once the area will be cleared, Rama said, he wants to dispose of Block 27 by selling it or developing it with a private sector partner.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 17, 2012.