Naga mayor says he can’t force residents to leave-A A +A
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
THE mayor of Naga City, Cebu yesterday refused to declare a barangay in his city as a “no habitation zone” unless a relocation site will be provided for the residents of the area.
But Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong told reporters yesterday they will pursue a deal with a National Government agency for a relocation site for residents living within the 150-meter radius of Sitio Pangilatan, located one of the mountainous areas of the city.
Sitio Pangilatan, which borders Barangays Cantao-an and Inayagan, was declared by Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7 as a “no habitation zone” after a couple living there was killed by a rockslide last week.
Chiong, in an interview with reporters, said they cannot implement the “no habitation zone” in Sitio Pangilatan if there’s no relocation site for the residents.
“Unya ato silang palayason? Asa man nato sila ibutang? Lisud kaayo na sila papahawaun karun diha (Where are we going to place them?),” Chiong said.
Chiong said that as of now, they are pursuing a deal with the National Housing Authority (NHA) for a plan to provide an alternative housing area for the residents.
After hearing reports about last week’s incident, Chiong instructed the barangay chiefs of Cantao-an and Inayagan to warn their constituents about the risk of living near the sitio.
Chiong said they are taking seriously the findings and recommendations of MGB 7’s geohazard mapping on the city’s landslide prone areas.
Last week, the MGB declared three sitios in Barangay Cantao-as as critical areas for landslides. These are Sitios Pangpang, Tayad-tayad and Balico.
Sitios Proper Cantao-an, Township and Riverside were classified as highly susceptible to landslides.
Geologists of MGB 7 were ordered to investigate the incident in Sitio Pangilatan after Dionisio Villarmea, 42, and his wife, Julieta, 47, were pinned to death by a boulder while they were inside their hut last week.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 11, 2012.