RUMORS of illegal drugs and prostitution at Block 27 in the North Reclamation Area have reached Cebu City Hall.

But this is not the reason why a 72-hour notice to vacate was issued against some 70 families temporarily living at the City-owned property.

It was just time, said Prevention Restoration Order Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) Chief Racquel Arce, who signed the notice.

"It’s long overdue. They need to go because we have given them enough time," Arce told Sun.Star Cebu.

The notice was issued last Wednesday and is expected to lapse on Monday.

"We were surprised upon receiving the notice and we are not ready to transfer," Befina Paulo, a resident of the area told reporters yesterday.

She and the other temporary residents went to City Hall yesterday to ask for extension and to tell City officials that they don't have the capacity to build new homes at the identified relocation site in Barangay Budlaan.

They have been temporarily living at Block 27 since last March but they lost their homes January yet because of a fire that displaced hundreds of families.

Paulo also said relocating in Budlaan would mean higher cost of living for them because their livelihood is in Carbon.

The families were supposed to stay at the temporary relocation for just a month.

"We have also to remind them that their stay is not forever but if they can convince me with their reasons for asking the extension, I might consider it," Rama said.

City Administrator Lucelle Mercado said the families will still receive P5,000 as balance of the financial assistance extended to victims of fire.

"With the money, I think their reason of having no capacity to build a house has been answered," Mercado said.

But only those who will voluntarily vacate the area can claim the cash aid.

Moreover, there are unconfirmed reports that illegal activities are rampant in the area, prompting the City Government to check the site.