A CEBU Provincial Capitol consultant finds nothing wrong with the Mandaue City administration giving early cash benefits to senior citizens or providing a 6.5-hectare relocation site to squatters in Barangay Paknaan.

As long as majority of Mandauehanons will benefit from the projects, it does not matter who initiates these, said Antero Caña Jr.

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Caña, who is Capitol consultant on development and communication, said opposition councilors, who all belong to One Cebu-Lakas-Kampi parties, should stop “playing politics.”

Mayor Jonas Cortes said the City Council had disapproved his proposal to relocate informal settlers living in danger zones—those living in riverbanks and fire-prone areas—to a 6.5-hectare property in Paknaan.

Jonas’s hope

But the mayor hopes to revive the move if given another mandate.

Caña urged legislators to work together if it is for the good of Mandaue, as he sees the importance of these two unrealized projects, especially the early distribution of the P1,000 cash benefit to senior citizens.

There are 10,000 registered senior citizens in the city.

Meanwhile, Housing and Urban Development Office records state that the Paknaan relocation site can accommodate 1,000 families.

Caña said there is nothing wrong if these projects, if implemented before the elections, boost the mayor’s popularity.

“The mayor is already popular and besides, many will benefit from the projects,” he said in Cebuano.

City councilors initially authorized the mayor to transact with owners of the property for the proposed relocation site, only to change their minds.

Foreshore area

Councilor Editha Cabahug said the property is a foreshore area so it already belongs to the City.

With the withdrawal of authority, purchase of the site did not push through.

The Mandaue Charter, which stipulates that all foreshore areas belong to the City, was passed in 1969.

The intended relocation site got its certificate of title before 1969, so it is not covered by the charter, if indeed it is a foreshore area, the mayor said.