THE Mandaue City Government has finally assigned a 28-sq.m. lot for each fire victim of Barangays Guizo and Mantuyong, especially those who can go back to the fire site, yesterday afternoon.
Officials of the City Government, together with representatives of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), assisted the fire victims, who have been staying at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) grounds for some months now.
However, a few of the beneficiaries did not show up during the drawing of lots at the City Sports and Cultural Complex yesterday.
Some of them continued to oppose the City’s plan by holding a rally together with some members of the Pagkakaisa ng Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) at the fire site.
The drawing of lots was scheduled at 1 p.m., but it started past 2 p.m.
The City Government identified 657 beneficiaries. Some 369 can go back to the fire site, while the rest will be transferred to a relocation site.
Tony Pet Juanico, head of the City’s Housing Urban and Development Office, explained to the attendees that they had to send City Hall personnel to the Mantuyong residents to persuade other beneficiaries to attend, to no avail.
At noon, around 50 beneficiaries and Piston members showed up at the developed fire site to once again show their opposition to the City’s move.
They brought with them a vehicle with a megaphone.
Nilo Gartohan, one of the beneficiaries and a member of Piston, said they were against the drawing of lots because they believed there is no assurance if they will still have an area where they can rebuild their houses.
Yesterday, the names of the beneficiaries were called one by one. They were then asked to pick a piece of paper to determine whether they will stay at the fire site or to the relocation area.
City Legal Officer Omar Redula said the DILG and the PCUP representatives were the ones who picked the paper for those who did not attend the activity.
According to him, the beneficiary who did show up yesterday has five days to accept this or else the lot intended for him will be forfeited.
“We are seriously considering the lot in Lapu-Lapu. Naay (There is a lot in) Mandaue, but it’s not so ideal,” said Redula.
Fire victims will start moving out from CICC and return to their old site today.