SOME 14,000 Bacoleños identified as informal settlers of the City Government this time needs to be relocated from their respective areas because of the danger they're facing, said City Legal Office (CLO) head Lawyer Joselito Bayatan.

Of the total, 949 families needed immediate relocation which includes those that have court order already (590 families) and those living in city's danger zone (359 families) such as in river, sea, road areas, a record from the Bacolod Housing Authority showed.

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The city has a total of 5, 196 informal settlers living in the danger zone, which Bayatan reiterated that 359 families need immediate relocation.

Also, the city identified 7,723 families categorized as doubled-up housing, which means a house composed of more than two families that Bayatan explained is part of the City Government's social responsibility of providing good housing.

Bacolod has a growth rate of 2.12 percent annually, which is equal to 300 more houses to be built in the city, said Bayatan.

The City Government has entered a P250-million loan with the Philippine Veterans Bank in lieu of its relocation project.

Bayatan noted however that the city's site, of 50 hectares, it acquired from the Arao property, could not even accommodate the big number of the informal settlers.

"The City Government is embarking the relocation site program for the informal settlers in order to provide them a decent housing program," said secretary to the mayor lawyer Vicente Petierre III.

He opined that the City Government's relocation project is urgent as it is immediate concern for the homeless and underprivileged constituents of Bacolod, especially to those with demolition order by the court already.

But oppositions group maintained that the city's purchase of the Arao property and the loan it entered with PVB is impractical "because there is still available and existing relocation site at Abada-Escay property in Vista Alegre."

Thus noted businessman Vladimir Gonzales and Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr., both are candidates for mayor and vice mayor, respectively.

Petierre lamented over strong opposition of Gonzalez and Gamboa's group to the P250-million loan.

"How could the City Government provide for the immediate relocation of the informal settlers when many politicians are trying to delay the city's program for the squatter familie" said Petierre, stressing that program is beneficial for the underprivileged constituents of Bacolod.

Meanwhile, Mayor Evelio Leonardia during his consultation with the people at the relocation area in Vista-Alegre has presented them the city's development plan of the site to shed light on the opposition raised by political rival's group of the administration.

The mayor said the existing site and the establishment of a new relocation site are symbiotic with the city administration plan for the project to be materialized.

He noted that part of the city's loan will also pave for a road construction from Granada highway down to the relocation site, as well as lighting and water facilities.

Police outpost

Bacolod City Police Director Superintendent Celestino Guara said they are planning to set up a police outpost at the relocation site because of rampant reported crimes happening in the area.

Guara said they are willing to sacrifice some areas in the city to satisfy the concern of the people in the relocation.

Guara said their main problem of having a police outpost at the area is the government building that will house the police outpost.

Last week at the relocation, Reynold Arroz was discovered dead inside his house.

He died with his throat slashed and sustained 17 stab wounds.

Guara said, they have already identified the suspect but they could not divulge yet his identity at this moment as police investigation is ongoing.

Arroz was seen in a drinking spree with five other persons before he was found dead.

A Sun.Star source disclosed that Arroz's killing is only one of the many crimes happened at the relocation that all remain unsolved.

Further, a series of robbery and hold up cases were also noted in the area.