City Hall says Luz officials failed to provide assistance to affected families-A A +A
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
NINE houses were demolished in Sitio Mabuhay, Barangay Luz, Cebu City yesterday, as ordered by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 11.
There was no resistance among the residents as 50 police officers secured the area. The demolition started at 9 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m.
Court sheriff Joseph Olmedo of RTC Branch 11 said each affected family may be given P10,000 as assistance, but they will have to be assessed first.
Mabolo Police Chief Enrique Belciña, in a phone interview, said the demolition is not completed yet since not all houses were completely torn down. Some still have their foundations intact.
He said the demolition went smoothly.
Thirty-two policemen from different stations were deployed while 20 other officers from special units were called in to help.
Houses in two other sitios – Sitios Lubi and Nangka - are scheduled for demolition, Belciña said. A total of 32 houses in these sitios are scheduled for demolition.
The Cebu City Government assured yesterday it will help the affected families in the three sitios.
Mayor Michael Rama said that P10,000 cash assistance, food assistance and a relocation site will be given to them.
In a news conference yesterday, Rama instructed the City’s Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS) headed by Dr. Ester Concha to process the cash aid and distribute meals to the affected families.
“The need is there. I want it done as soon as possible,” he said.
DSWS started distributing meals yesterday. The residents will be given meals for three days.
The Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) has prepared four relocation sites for the residents in Barangays Tisa, Inayawan, Basak Pardo, and Bulacao.
At 9 a.m. yesterday, some of the residents volunteered to tear down their houses following the agreement that they will receive financial assistance if they don’t oppose the demolition.
Ten nuns from a church in Mabolo went to the area and offered prayers.
The affected residents will be relocated in Barangay Pardo, but this has yet to be confirmed, Olmedo said.
The 32 families in Sitios Mabuhay, Lubi and Nangka, who are members of the Barrio Luz Urban Poor Association (Blupa), were ordered to remove their structures and other developments they made to their houses.
The demolition was ordered after the residents lost the case they filed in 1994 against homeowners’ associations in the area.
The houses were supposed to be demolished last April yet, but the City asked the court to reconsider after a fire hit the area last May 11.
A total of 70 families will be affected by the demolition since some houses are occupied by more than one family.
DWUP chief Collin Rosell, however, questioned the implementation of the demolition order, saying there was no holding area for the affected families while the City is still preparing the relocation sites.
Rosell said Barangay Luz officials refused to help the families.
He said the barangay barricaded a Province-owned lot near the demolition site which is supposed to be used as a holding area.
Sun.Star Cebu tried to get comment of Luz Barangay Captain Rian Tante but repeated calls were not returned.
Rama asked the barangay to help the residents, saying they have been staying there for years.
“Ila man nang kauban. They should participate so that the burden and pain felt by the victims will be manageable,” he said.
The City has sent a letter to Capitol asking that they be allowed to use its lot as holding area.
Luz officials said to have supported the demolition after the families refused to members of the homeowners’ associations in the area.
The families had wanted to buy their home lots, which are covered by Provincial Ordinance 93-1.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 09, 2012.