TENSION arose during the clearing operation of the Mandaue City Housing and Urban Development Office (HUDO) along the banks of Mahiga Creek last Tuesday.
A woman who lives in Sitio Mahayag in Barangay Subangdaku tried to stop the clearing team that secured her father’s fishing canoe.
A few years ago, houses along Mahiga Creek were demolished by the City Government to force families to move to safer ground.
Although the Mandaue City Government put a fence on the area after the demolition, some families were still able to build structures there.
Cesar Ylanan, head of HUDO’s demolition division, said they found out that pump boats were used to bring in materials inside the fenced area.
Ylanan said they cleared the structures in Sitio Mahayag last Oct. 2, but when they went back to the area last Oct. 6, the families rebuilt their makeshift houses.
He said they cleared it once again but the families continued to stay there even after the clearing team left. At least 28 families defied the clearing team.
HUDO had to clear the area because a riprap is under construction there as a flood control measure.
Last Tuesday, HUDO personnel, with the help of the Mandaue City Police Office, went back to Sitio Mahayag and confiscated two boats.
Ylanan said they managed to dismantle only three structures that day. He believes the families were alerted that a clearing operation will take place.
The housing materials and one of the boats were brought to the Cebu International Convention Center compound, where the families can temporarily stay.
The other boat was returned to the owner after he promised that he will not go back to the riverbank.
“Didto sa CICC gibutangan namo’g tent didto, di man sad sila so wa na lang gyud mi mahimo (We placed tents at the CICC compound so the families can temporarily stay there, but they still refused),” said Ylanan.
According to the City Public Information Office, these families refused to avail themselves of the livelihood assistance and relocation site offered by the City.
City Legal Assistant Lawyer James Allan Sayson said a notice was not needed because what happened was a clearing operation and not a first time demolition. (FMG)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on October 12, 2017.
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