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Thursday, September 23, 2021

No relocation until all papers ‘are in order’

THE Cebu City Government is asking the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu administration to first comply with all the requirements before relocating the families affected by the fire on its property in Sitio Avocado, Barangay Lahug.

City Administrator Lucelle Mercado said the Provincial Government has yet to officially turn over the property in Sitio Nivel Hills, Barangay Busay, which was identified as the relocation site, to the school.

Pending

In a letter addressed to Atty. Liza Corro, UP Cebu dean, Gov. Hilario Davide III said the draft deed of donation and acknowledgment of acceptance are still pending before the Provincial Legal Office for review.

“Pending review by our Provincial Legal Office of the said deed of donation, I hereby grant you permission to transfer/relocate informal settlers presently occupying portions of the UP Cebu property to the Province-owned lots located in Busay, Cebu City,” Davide said.

But since there is no final deed of donation, Mercado said they can’t push through with the transfer.

“Technically, the documents establishing that the Capitol donated the property to UP Cebu to distribute to qualified settlers are not yet ready,” she said in Cebuano.

Not ready

The lot also doesn’t have any technical description to determine which part of the property will be used as the relocation site, she said.

Mercado also said the relocation area has not been developed and is not ready for occupancy.

Section 28 (b) of the Urban Development Housing Act allows eviction of settlers when government infrastructure projects with available funding are about to be implemented..

The section further requires adequate consultations on the matter of settlement with duly-designated representatives of the families to be resettled and the affected communities in the areas where they are to be relocated.

Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor Chief Atty. Collin Rosell said UP Cebu has yet to do that.

Status

City Legal Office Chief, Atty. Jerone Castillo said they are just being factual about the status of the lot in Barangay Busay.

“They have yet to sign the documents and we want to clear out everything. We should have the details,” he said.

After meeting school representatives, the Provincial Government, barangay and officials of the homeowner’s associations of Sitios Avocado and San Jose in Lahug, Mercado said UP Cebu agreed to let them temporarily stay in the area.

Rosell said that during their meetings, officials of the two homeowner’s associations that occupy the UP Cebu property agreed to be transferred as long as their relocation site is ready for occupancy.

But as to how long this will take, Mercado said that all depends on UP Cebu.

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