OWNERS of floating and fixed cottages within the coastal waters of Cordova town on Mactan Island have been given an extension of two weeks or until Oct. 19, 2022 to remove their structures.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued Memorandum 25-2022 addressed to the concerned agencies Wednesday, Oct. 5, concerning the extension to give ample time for owners to fully demolish or remove their floating and fixed cottages.

Police Major Michael Gingoyon, chief of the Cordova Police Station, told SunStar Cebu that Mayor Cesar “Didoy” Suan had requested Garcia to extend the deadline for the voluntary demolition.

The forced demolition was supposed to be carried out on Oct. 5, as Garcia through Executive Order 36-2022, had given them only from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4 to demolish or remove their structures.

“To give ample time and at the same time it’s very difficult, according to them, to dismantle and demolish the floating cottages because they’d still have to pull these to the shoreline so the materials can still be used. The bamboo should be dismantled properly,” said Gingoyon in Cebuano.

This was considered by the mayor as well as humanitarian considerations.

Some owners reportedly had experienced difficulty in demolishing all their structures in just two weeks since they had at least 10 cottages to remove.

Aside from that, the speed of the demolition reportedly also depends on the size and type of material used on the structures.

The memorandum was addressed to the Municipality of Cordova, Philippine National Police Maritime Group, Philippine Coast Guard, Naval Forces Central, Maritime Industry Authority, and all others concerned.

Based on their assessment, the chief of police said majority of the floating and fixed cottages had already been removed.

Gingoyon said about 20 floating cottages remained afloat as of Wednesday morning.

Suan earlier said there were 103 floating cottages and more than 300 fixed cottages in the town.

Mabel Daro, president of the fixed cottages association, said some owners reportedly waited to be given cash assistance amounting to P10,000 first before they would demolish their structures.

Daro, however, said they were required to submit pictures of their structures taken prior to and after demolition.

During the stakeholders’ meeting on Sept. 20, Garcia said they could drag their floating cottages back to the shore and convert them into beach huts, provided that they followed the law and observed the 20-meter easement.

She denied the request of fixed and floating cottage operators to just remove their cottages and transfer them to other areas or sell them to others.