NOT only were the residents of Sitio Avocado in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City left out of consultations, they were also not provided a suitable relocation site, Vice Mayor Michael Rama said.
In a privilege speech he gave during the City Council session on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, Rama said he was dismayed by the way the occupants of the lot owned by the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu in Sitio Avocado were treated.
As of Tuesday, 33 out of the 74 concrete structures on UP Cebu’s lot were demolished.
UP Cebu succeeded in recovering its property on Wednesday, Aug. 8., three years after it filed a complaint for forcible entry against the lot occupants who rebuilt their houses following the fire incident in the area in December 2015.
Rama said the homeowners have nowhere to go since the two relocation sites in Barangay Busay that were offered to them by both UP and the City Government are not habitable.
There are no paved roads, power and water connection, which should be in place in relocation sites, he said.
After meeting the affected families on Tuesday morning, Rama said he learned about some problems in the way the demolition proceedings developed.
He noted that the families were not consulted and the demolition was carried out even without proper relocation.
“For one, the Presidential Commission for Urban Poor issued a certification, which paved the way for the honorable court to rule that the demolition could proceed, denying the residents’ motion to defer the demolition. I am greatly dismayed,” Rama said.
He said no demolition should be implemented in the city if there is no relocation plan for the lot occupants.
Rama called on the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor and other concerned offices to help the families. (from PAC of Superbalita Cebu/LRC)