GIVING financial assistance to those who voluntarily demolish their own structures which are built along the Davao Riverbank is a welcome move of the City Government of Davao.
The move is aimed at helping those who will be affected find a safer place to live in. It also encourages other residents as well living in danger zones to do the same.
Dismantling their own houses is, in fact, a better option for these residents so that they can still salvage materials and utilize them to build their new houses.
This should be what other residents who did not demolish their own houses think and should not wait for the demolition team to destroy their houses because for sure, they won't salvage anything when that happens.
The move, however laudable it is, can still be abused by some with nothing in mind but the cash assistance that will be given.
It may, in fact, be an encouragement to some to build houses in danger zones so that once the government orders them to dismantle their structures for a cash assistance they will gladly do so.
What better move now is to make physical or tangible boundaries like fences around the danger zones so that nobody can construct their houses in these areas.
It would also be good to impose penalties to those who will build their houses in danger zones to discourage people with ill intention and those who are only after the cash assistance of the government.
We have seen so many times before that only few months after demolition, there will be houses sprouting again in danger zones. And this did not cause only houses and properties lost or damaged but several lives lost as well. And when this happens the LGU is always blamed for not being so strict in enforcing the law especially in preventing people from building and living in danger zones.
This is where the law's grip must be tightened; not only for the sake of enforcing the law, but saving the lives of those people who intend to live in these areas as well.