CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama ordered the removal and transfer of the supposed shelter for night dwellers in Barangay Lorega.
This, after the barangay, headed by Barangay Captain Fritzgerald Herrera, expressed opposition to the P4-million two-storey facility that is constructed in one of their sitios.
The barangay doesn’t want their village to house the night dwellers rescued by the City Government from the streets, saying they don’t know them.
They are also worried because they don’t know the characters and background of those who will be brought to their barangay.
In a news conference, Rama said he is approving the request of the barangay and ordered the Department of Social Welfare Service (DSWS) and the Task Force for Better Life to look for another place for the facility.
“I agree and sympathize with the concerns of the barangays. So I approved their plea that the structure need to be transferred to another place. A place that is not far. A place where they can still be seen. A place where they can’t be a problem,” he said.
Asked about the matter, Task Force for Better Life head Alvin Santillana and DSWS chief Ester Concha said they are planning to transfer the facility at the Community Scouts located in Barangay Duljo Fatima since there is a vacant lot there.
The facility for the night dwellers, which can accommodate around 200 families, was finished in the middle of February yet, but Santillana said it did not operate because of the request of the barangay.
“Pwede ra mabalhin ang center kay collapsible man siya. Gi-assemble ra man to mao pwede ra ma-transfer (The facility can be transferred because it is collapsible and can be disassembled,” said Concha.
Santillana said they are planning to inspect the area at the Community Scouts soon.
They aim to start dismantling the facility in Lorega by next week. It will be finished in 15 to 30 days.
Santillana and Concha said they hope the transfer of the facility will be finished by May 1.
In the meantime, Santillana said, the night dwellers the City have rescued will continue to stay at the grounds of the abandoned Compaña Maritima.
Santillana said the Cebu Ports Authority has allowed the City to continue using the building.