A REQUEST to identify landslide and flashflood-prone areas within the Central Cebu Protected Landscape (CCPL) Protected Area was forwarded to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

CCPL protected area superintendent Ariel Rica said the request was made to mitigate the impact of climate change for the next two to three decades.

“We are updating the management plan because some of the data we have may no longer be applicable to the current situation,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

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The CCPL, Metro Cebu’s main source of water, is composed of the Buhisan National Watershed Forest Reserve, Mananga Watershed Forest Reserve, Sudlon National Park, Central Cebu National Park and Kotkot-Lusaran Watershed Forest Reserve.

Rica also said a reforestation project, funded through the Community Development Fund of former congressman Raul del Mar, is underway in 10 Cebu City barangays.

“In the restoration or strict protection zones, we will be planting indigenous trees on the slope portions to prevent erosion,” he said.

“The trees are not for harvest but the community will be paid for planting,” he added.

The 300-hectare project includes Barangays Paril, Cambinocot, Guba, Sirao, Taptap, Binaliw, Lusaran, Adlaon, Pung-ol Sibugay and Agsungot.

“The advantage of the project is that it is also an agro-forestry area where fruit-bearing trees will be planted. Later on, the community can harvest the fruits that they can sell, thus providing them with a source of income,” said Rica.

For planting in a strict protection zone, the community involved is paid up to P13,000 per hectare.

“There are plans to include other mountain barangays but there are not enough funds,” he said.

Move it

In Talisay City, seven families who live at the foot of a hill in Barangay Lagtang have ignored calls for them to transfer to a safer ground.

“We have sent them a notice from the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), yet they refused to budge,” a barangay official told Sun.Star Cebu this week.

City Press Information Officer Arturo Bas, a Lagtang resident, confirmed these hillside residents preferred to stay at the foot of a hill along the Toledo wharf road in Sitio Tingub, Lagtang than move to another area.

Apparently, they want to avail themselves of the city’s resettlement program for urban poor residents.

However, Bas said he checked with the Local Housing Board, which showed their names have not been listed among the beneficiaries of the city’s relocation program.

To avail themselves of the program, these hillside residents must get a barangay certification, recognizing them as bona fide Lagtang residents with no stable jobs or income, he said.

Mayor Socrates Fernandez earlier announced City Hall purchased at least 20 private lots for urban poor resettlement sites.

Bas, a former city councilor, said that during his last term in the third Sangguniang Panglungsod (SP), the city bought at least five more private properties in Barangay Biasong, San Isidro, Mohon, Cansojong and Dumlog.

But Barangays San Isidro and Biasong are occupied.

City Councilor Celiapo Cabuenas, a former Lagtang barangay captain, called on City Hall to expedite the transfer of these residents.

He said these residents have exposed themselves to risks these rainy months, as the area is prone to landslides, situated as it is near a private quarry.

It has been noted that the number of urban poor dwellers in Talisay City has multiplied through the years despite the City Hall’s lot purchases for its resettlement programs.

From 5,000 in 2005, the number of urban poor residents is now estimated at 13,000.