ABOUT 33 houses along the Mambuloc Creek at barangays 10 and 12 in Bacolod City were demolished by the City Legal Office (CLO) Enforcement Team Thursday morning, July 11.
City Administrator lawyer John Orola said the 33 affected families were living in the danger zone so they should vacate the area.
Orola said the city government provided the relocation site to the affected families.
But of the 33 families, 26 applied for pre-qualification while only 15 of them were able to apply for relocation assistance.
During the demolition, the CLO-Enforcement Team was accompanied by the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) and Market Coordinating and Monitoring Task Force (MCMF).
Representatives from the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) in Western Visayas and Bacolod Housing Authority (BHA) were also present.
Executive Assistant Ernie Pineda, cluster head on markets, said the city government has already served the notices to the affected families of the said barangays, behind the Bacolod City Water District, all of them living near the creek, since 2015.
On May 22 that year, a pre-demolition conference with the affected families was conducted by the PCUP led by its Assistant Regional Director Neil Victor Saril.
Pineda said that in October 2016, the CLO also notified the affected families to voluntarily remove their structures because based on the survey of the City Engineer’s Office the areas were considered a public nuisance under existing laws.
“They were also instructed to process their relocation assistance with the BHA, and failure to do so shall be deemed as waiver for any future assistance that may be extended by the city,” he added.
For his part, Barangay 12 kagawad Jerry Agusto said their constituents were cooperating with the demolition team since they are also given a relocation site by the city government.
“We are in favor to relocate them because they are living in the danger zone,” Agusto said.
He recalled that a nine-month-old baby previously drowned in the creek.
Faith Joy Lumauag, officer-in-charge of the BHA, said 15 families have applied for relocation as of Thursday.
It, however, reduced to 14 families after finding out that two of the families were living in one structure.
“We are preparing to relocate the 14 informal settlers to Progreso Relocation Site II at Abada Escay in Barangay Vista Alegre,” she said.
Lumauag said the evaluation continues and they provided trucks for the transportation of the affected families going to the relocation site.
The affected families, she said, were reminded to build a temporary structure since the evaluation has yet to be finished next week.