FIRE victims in Sitio Paradise in Barangay Looc, Mandaue City may soon be transferred to the “transitory housing area” that the City Government is planning to establish in a four-hectare idle property near the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC).

During the City Council’s regular session on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, lawyer John Eddu Ibañez, executive secretary of Mayor Jonas Cortes, said the private company that currently leases the city-owned prime lot has allowed the City Government to use the property temporarily.

Ibañez said they do not have any other property that could cater to more or less 650 to 700 affected families from Barangay Looc and about 500 families currently residing at the CICC aside from this.

“That is only transitory. Ibutang sila diha in preparation sa atoang 14,000 units nga socialized housing,” said Ibañez who is referring to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) entered into by the City Government and Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DSHUD) on Friday, Nov. 25, in which a 14,000 unit housing project is set to be constructed in Sitio Maharlika in Barangay Tipolo.

Johnbee Biton, head of the Housing and Urban Development Office (Hudo), said the obligation of the City Government concerning the MOU is to come up with land and beneficiaries.

Ibañez assured that the mayor had been ironing everything as they plan to transfer the families to the transitory housing before Christmas.

Ibañez said Cortes was able to talk to officials of the Mandaue City Chamber of Commerce, Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Cebu Contractors Association on Saturday, Nov. 26, concerning the City’s plan to build decent houses for the fire victims.

Camilo Bacasa Jr., head of the City Social Welfare and Services, said the list of affected families in Sitio Paradise had already reached 670 as of 11:40 a.m. Monday, Nov. 28.

They are now temporarily sheltered at the barangay’s gym and Cesar Cabahug Elementary School in Looc.

In-person classes in Mandaue City Central School also resumed Monday, after its facilities were used by the affected families from Nov. 23 until Sunday, Nov. 27. (MKG)