BARANGAY Lahug officials will help Sitio San Jose residents keep their power and water supply and will also meet with Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to negotiate on the use of the UP property by its present occupants.

Lahug Barangay Captain Mary Ann de los Santos said she was not aware of the residents’ problem with their Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) and Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) connections since they did not bring it up during their dialogue last Monday.

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But she said she will appeal to the administration of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas Cebu College (UPVCC) to allow the occupants of their property to keep their water and power connections.

“I was surprised that there is an issue on the water and power supply. We had a dialogue with UP officials last Monday and none of the residents mentioned it. If they did, we could have asked UP to reconsider. Anyway, I will lobby with UP na dili lang sa nila ipaputol,” de los Santos said.

The residents recently received a copy of the letter of UPVCC supervising administrative officer Alsidry Sharif to MCWD, informing the agency that they did not authorize or allow anyone to connect with any utility within its lot.

De los Santos wondered why UPVCC singled out the fire victims in San Jose and did not bother the occupants of other parts of their property.

She said they will help the fire victims and might tap the power connections of their neighbors.

De los Santos is also scheduled to meet her lawyers to discuss amending the terms of the deed of donation that the Provincial Government and UPVCC entered into.

The Province donated its property in Lahug to UPVCC on the condition that it will be used for education.

Request

However, over the years, some informal settlers occupied portions of the property, including the fire victims in San Jose.

Last Wednesday, Mayor Tomas Osmeña advised the fire victims to request the governor to change the purpose of the lot donation so the City can fight for the residents to own the lot they are occupying.

He suggested that they ask de los Santos to mediate, “since she’s very close to the governor.”

“I still have to sit down with my lawyers because I don’t know the legal implications of amending the deed of donation.

I don’t know if that is even legally possible. I’d like to hear from the lawyers before I talk to the governor because I might sound ignorant and ask for the moon and the stars only to find out that it can’t be done,” de los Santos said.