THE Cebu City Government expects the transition housing for informal settlers at the South Road Properties to be finished in October this year.
“The technical report is done. The engineering plan is complete. Everything is prepared,” according to Jerone Castillo, head of the City Legal Office, during a press conference on Saturday, July 15, 2023.
However, the City has yet to identify the project’s implementer.
“We will do the bidding for transitional housing any time soon,” Castillo said.
The project will first accommodate the 146 individuals living in the three-meter easement zone along Tagunol Creek, which runs through the barangays of Basak San Nicolas and Basak-Pardo, he said.
He said the 146 individuals were prioritized because they live in structures that were identified as flood contributors.
The Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor has already identified 6,241 individuals who live in structures that are up for demolition as part of the City Government’s “Task Force Gubat sa Baha” program.
Aside from the 146 living along Tagunol Creek, they include the 926 individuals along Mahiga Creek, 1,117 along Lahug River, 412 along Butuanon River, 1,086 along Guadalupe River, 1,982 along Kinalumsan River, 406 along Bulacao River and 166 along Estero de Parian.
According to Castillo, Harold Alcontin, head of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO), had informed him that the structures in the two barangays have shortened the Tagunol Creek, resulting in the water not flowing properly.
“We have to clean that up, restore the river. And hopefully, once they are removed from the area, the flooding will ease,” Castillo said in a mix of Cebuano and English.
According to Gubat sa Baha’s data, 144 houses and two business establishments will be affected by the demolition along Tagunol Creek.
Castillo assured that they will not demolish the houses until their occupants are given proper relocation, which is the transitional house project.
However, demolition will start once the transitional house project, which can accommodate around 1,200 families, is completed in October, he said.
He said their next priority will be the 166 individuals living along the Estero de Parian.
He reiterated that clearing these structures will also allow the water in the estero to drain into the ocean.
“The measures we are undertaking are really long term in character,” he said.
Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo of the committee on infrastructure told SunStar Cebu on Saturday that the City will provide alternative housing for informal settlers who cannot be accommodated in the transitional housing at the SRP.
Guardo said the City intends to build medium-rise buildings in Barangays Quiot and Lahug for this purpose.
He said some of the affected individuals can avail themselves of the Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Housing Program of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Meanwhile, Alcontin said the CCDRRMO and the Department of Engineering and Public Works are working together to oversee the City’s three-meter easement zone project.
He said the team is keeping a close eye on Tagunol Creek, Estero de Parian and Lahug River, which are the sources of flooding in the northern part of the city.