THE Cebu City Council supported the plea of some 70 families to extend their temporary stay at the City-owned Block 27 in the North Reclamation Area.

The council asked the executive department to grant the extension sought by the families who were victims of a January fire that gutted their homes in Sitio Warwick Barracks, Barangay Ermita.

In a resolution authored by Councilor Alvin Dizon, chairperson of the council's committee on housing, the legislative body is asking Mayor Michael Rama to put on hold the transfer of the families for humanitarian reasons.

The extension will give the families enough time to comply with the requirements to avail of the city's socialized housing program.

"The fire victims, in their letter, assured Mayor Michael Rama that they have no plans of staying long in Block 27 but they are requesting that they be allowed to stay in Block 27 for a longer time since they are still processing their requirements for their permanent relocation site," the resolution reads.

Budlaan

The Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) identified a relocation site in Barangay Budlaan.

The Prevention Restoration Order Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) already issued a 72-hour notice to the families last June 11 and this lapsed last Monday.

However, no clearing was made while Rama mulled over the extension sought.

The families were mostly vendors in Warwick Barracks before their stalls were destroyed by fire.

They used to live in the Carbon Commercial Complex as well but were not allowed to rebuild their homes as Rama announced plans to develop the area, which is classified as a market zone and not residential.

Upon receiving the notice last week, the affected families went to City Hall to ask Rama for an extension while also approaching Dizon for help.

Rama, for his part, earlier reminded the families that their stay at the facility is temporary since DWUP had identified a relocation site for them.

Rama, though, is willing to grant the extension if the concerns raised by the families are valid.