Demolition of houses along main water pipe set

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Sunday, February 16, 2014


THE structures of informal settlers who live under the Governor Generoso Bridge in Bankerohan, Davao City are set to be demolished on February 20 in order for the Davao City Water District (DCWD) to start with the reconstruction of the damaged mainline pipes.

But residents are asking Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for more time, claiming they still do not have any place to relocate.

Duterte said he agrees with the request of the residents, providing that they will abide by what required them to do, a request the mayor seem inclined to grant.

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“Wala koy problema ana. Ang bungkagon ra man pud ana kasagaran kanang agian ra sa tubo. Ang dili maagian, wala koy labot ana (I don’t have any problem with the people living there and the structures to be demolished are only those that will be along the pipe. Those far from the pipe will not be touched),” he said on Sunday.

According to the City Planning and Development Office-Housing Division, only 22 structures will be affected.

The DCWD had informed affected residents of its plan to reconstruct the pipe bridge crossing, which is 1,000-millimeters wide in diameter and which collapsed last December 16, 2012 due to strong river current.

The damaged pipe has been causing low water pressure to no water to some 70,000 DCWD customers, mostly in the northern part of the city.

“They have to have a space there to move. (There will be) men working plus equipment that will be used and it will entail us marginal spaces),” Duterte said in explaining why the shanties have to be demolished.

“Bahala na sila asa sila mupuyo, in the meantime (They should figure out where they will live in the meantime),” he added.

DCWD spokesperson Imelda Magsuci, in a phone interview on Sunday, said they will follow what the mayor tells them following the extension of the deadline he initially gave the residents.

She said the City Demolition Unit will initiate the pulling down of structures in the area that will affect only few residents.

Data as to how many residents will be affected are not yet final.

She said some residents have already “voluntarily demolished” their houses after their advisory and dialogue with Duterte.

Magsuci said the cost of construction amounts to P105 million.

But a resident, Putri Taop, 50, insisted on a relocation site.

"Kana ra among hangyo. Nga maplastar lang gyud mi sa akong pamilya (That’s all we’re asking for, a place to settle in)," said Taop, a native of Marawi City.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 17, 2014.

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