RESIDENTS of the island-village of Molocaboc Island in Sagay City, Negros Occidental are facing relocation after the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) classified the island as highly-susceptible to storm surge.

The MGB found out that Molocaboc is only a meter above sea level, making it not suitable for dwelling, said MGB-6 Regional Director Leo Van Juguan in a radio interview.

The Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Defense, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have signed a joint memorandum-circular declaring Molocaboc Island and other places susceptible to storm surges and landslides as no longer fit for dwelling.

Juguan said that under the memorandum, residents living in areas like Molocaboc Island should be evacuated to safer areas before a typhoon hits the place. He said relocation is an “ideal” option for the residents.

The National Housing Authority and the local government unit have proposed to relocate the villagers to mainland Sagay, but some residents have opposed this, saying they will lose their livelihood if relocated.

Juguan said he understands that the livelihood of most villagers is fishing.

He advised residents that once they are relocated, they can build small huts in the island to serve as their shelter when they are fishing.

“The villagers should understand that the government’s plan to relocate them is for their own good,” he said.(TDE)