Ways to convince residents in coastal areas to leave no-build zone mulled

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Friday, December 6, 2013

THE town of Tudela in Camotes, Cebu will inaugurate tomorrow its resettlement project while its neighbor, Pilar, expects to complete this week the distribution of construction materials for 1,200 households.

Tudela Mayor Erwin Yu said the local government has identified a one-hectare lot in Barangay General, which will serve as relocate site for families whose houses were built within the no-build zone of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The DENR declared 40 meters on the shoreline as no-build zone to avoid casualties should another storm surge occur.


Yu said the relocation site can accommodate 160 houses and 20 are already under construction.

He said the Provincial Government advanced the funds for the acquisition and development of the lot. Tudela will use part of its 2014 budget for repayment.

Some mayors in northern Cebu, however, are still in a quandary how to implement the no-build zone policy.

Mayor Jesus Fernandez Jr. of Pilar, Camotes said the Municipal Government prioritized assistance to enable residents to rebuild their houses.

He said the local government is giving nails and eight galvanized iron sheets per homeless family.

The Municipality is targeting 1,200 households and hopes to finish this week.

Fernandez said the local government used the P2-million financial assistance from the Capitol and its calamity fund to purchase the construction materials.

He said they will tackle the relocation of families on the no-build zone later.

Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro said he expects resistance from affected residents.

"Mapatay ko's taw kung ingnon nako ayaw mo dinhi. Ang sunod pangutana nila asa mi nimo pabalhinon (The people will kill me if I tell them to leave. They will ask for relocation),” he said.

He said the Municipal Government is considering a one-hectare property but this is occupied by illegal settlers who refused to heed the mayor’s letters demanding them to vacate the area.


In the meantime, Corro said, he asked barangay leaders and the local disaster risk reduction and management council to inform residents near the shore to move to safer ground.

He said residents would be easier to convince if the relocation site is ready.

Gov. Hilario Davide III earlier offered a Capitol-owned lot, covering five hectares, as relocation site for Daanbantayan. The lot is located behind the Cebu Technological University-Daanbantayan.

Mayor Salvador Dela Fuente of Madridejos in Bantayan, Cebu said the Municipal Government will find a way to relocate coastal residents.

But he expects fishermen to oppose it as they needed to be near their boats.

Bantayan Mayor Ian Christopher Escario declined to comment on the issue.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 06, 2013.

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