MORE than 300 families who live near the Mahiga Creek in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City have agreed to voluntarily demolish their houses.

After several orientations and consultations, Tony Pet Juanico, housing and homesite regulation officer of the Housing and Urban Development Office (Hudo), said members of the homeowners’ association in Sitios Mahayag and Mahusay will be moved to a safer area.

The Mandaue City Government has been trying to move families out of danger zones and place them in relocation sites.

“I-clear tungod sa atong climate change labi na atong weather ron unpredictable kaayo (We need to clear those structures within the danger zones, especially when we are suffering from climate change and the weather is unpredictable),” Juanico said.

Some 153 structures in Mahayag and 162 structures in Mahusay need to be cleared.

Assistance from the City

Juanico said 100 families from each sitio have agreed to be transferred to the 6.5-hectare relocation site in Barangay Paknaan.

Juanico said those who have been living in the two sitios since 1992 will qualify for financial assistance that amounts to the minimum wage multiplied by 60.

He said the City will provide livelihood assistance to all affected families.

The City, through Hudo, also coordinated with Social Housing Finance Corp. for the housing project in Paknaan.

When the demolition took effect last Monday, Juanico said the anti-squatting team experienced slight tension in the area but this was eventually settled.

Some of the families who agreed to voluntarily demolish their homes did so yesterday.

Felix Cabaltera said he volunteered to tear down his house in Sitio Mahayag when the City promised him a P10,000-livelihood assistance.

The 65-year-old said he will be moving in with one of his children in Barangay Canduman. He said the relocation site in Paknaan is too far.

Month-long operation

Juanico said the affected families were informed last year about the City’s program. They were again consulted before the demolition, he said.

For the families who will be relocated to Paknaan, Juanico said each one will get 32 square meters of land at a very low price. But they will have to shoulder the cost of building their houses, he said.

The Hudo partnered with Department of Public Works and Highways 7, the City Social Welfare Services, the City Legal Office and the City Planning Division Office for the clearing operation.

Juanico said it will take them at least a month to clear all the houses in both sitios.

Once this is done, he said they will fence the areas.

He said the City will coordinate with the barangay to arrest persons who will build new structures in the areas.

Juanico said the City plans to convert the areas into a bicycle lane.