LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- People here have no choice but to live dangerously.
Thirty-one tents remain at the Benguet State University grounds from the original 43 shelter boxes set up November last year.
Puguis barangay chairwoman Evelyn Ramos said those who have been sent home can still live in their homes until a permanent relocation is given all typhoon victims.
"All have been considered for the relocation at the Tawang area," Ramos said.
Ramos added that because of the recent Benguet State University (BSU) order asking evacuees with damaged homes to leave, the evacuees have no recourse but to return to their homes even though the houses stand in what is now considered the danger zone as declared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB).
"It is not raining, it is summer time, I assure it will be safe for them," Ramos said.
She added that since December, BSU has informed evacuees of their limited stay in the school's grounds. "There was a memorandum of agreement signed by the local government and BSU stating evacuees will only be allowed in the area until December [last year]."
The barangay chief said the evacuees were not informed or given a copy of the MOA.
"I only knew about it when two families went to my office on December 26," Ramos said.
Ramos immediately wrote BSU president Rogelio Colting asking for an extension for those rendered homeless by the typhoon.
Now, evacuees are given until March to vacate the BSU grounds. "We are happy that BSU has granted us the request," Ramos said.
Colting said families to be retained in the area are those listed by Ramos.
BSU is currently celebrating its 24th Charter Day Anniversary, and it needs the space occupied by the shelter boxes.
Ramos said there are 26 families from Poblacion and Puguis who are still in the BSU grounds.
Seven families have gone back to their partially damaged homes.
"Their houses are still intact, if there is a danger they can go back to the barangay or the school grounds," Ramos said.