AS a gesture of sincerity, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he will include P33-million worth of cash compensation to a Christian church that will be affected by a national road expansion project.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 wanted to demolish the wall of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) compound on Gen. Maxilom Ave. in September last year.
The wall is facing F. Sotto Drive, or the road to the left of the compound.
Structures in the compound that will be affected by the expansion include the district office of Buklod, INC’s organization for married couples; the district minister’s quarters; and the INC powerhouse.
The demolition, which was supposed to happen on Sept. 14 last year, was delayed due to INC’s opposition.
Although DPWH has already deposited the compensation with the court, Osmeña said the City Government will also provide INC with compensation.
The provision of compensation is one of the requisites for the writ of possession issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 18 in favor of DPWH.
“The INC really felt burdened with this problem because their wall has to be demolished to widen F. Sotto. We have to convince them to sacrifice their fence.
The other side is also sacrificing. Equal gyud ba. This is to show our sincerity,” he told reporters last week.
He explained that the project would convert the affected area into a two-way road where motorists from F. Sotto, D. Jakosalem and downtown area can now head straight to Ayala Business Park without passing through the congested area near the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion.
Osmena told the incoming INC minister that the compensation is the City’s “share” for the troubles.
“Regardless of whether they will receive any compensation, the important thing is that the City is ready to pay.
I assure the people that my implementation is fair. Rich or poor, you get the same treatment,” the mayor said.