MAURA Enriquez, 59, is on the road for nine hours every night to sell fertilized duck eggs, or balut.
On average, she earns a maximum of P320 if she is able to sell 40 balut. She uses the money to feed herself and her 17-year-old son.
She goes out around 5 p.m. and roams the streets until 2 a.m. if business is not so good.
“If dili mahurot, gamay ra sad akong kita pero sige lang basta duna’y gamay nga kita (It’s okay if I don’t sell everything as long as I earn something),” she told Sun.Star Cebu.
Enriquez, who has a disability in her left foot, said she makes sure she saves some money for future expenses.
However, she may need to earn more since she will lose her house to a court-ordered demolition in Sitio Almacen, Barangay Calamba, Cebu City.
Around 200 families, who belong to three homeowners’ associations, will be affected by the demolition.
Ready to leave
Although she has yet to pack her things, Enriquez said she’s ready to vacate her little space, which has been her home since birth.
In the notice of implementation for the writ of demolition issued by Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 5 Judge Oscar Andrino, the demolition was supposed to start yesterday and end on Friday.
But it did not push through yesterday, Enriquez said, because the sheriff gave them until today to voluntarily dismantle their houses.
After today, the demolition team will start the clearing operation in the area.
Last week, affected families sought the help of Acting Mayor Margarita Osmeña to ask the court and the private owners of the lot to allow them to extend their stay for six months.
This will allow the families to find a new home.
“But if they won’t extend, then we’re ready to heed the order because we don’t want any trouble. We’re just hoping they’d take pity on us and help us find a relocation site,” she said in Cebuano.
Enriquez is one of the 51 families under Homeless Individuals of Sitio Almacin homeowner’s association.
Nancy Miraflor of Almacen III Homeowner’s Association said families in their group already have a relocation site in Barangay Basak Pardo, but they couldn’t transfer there yet because they have not fully paid the property.
“We’re asking the City Government for help. Maybe we can pay the City and pay fully the owner of the property that way we’ll have a place to transfer,” Miraflor said in Cebuano.
Members of Sitio Almacen Homeowner’s Association are asking the lot owner to allow them to buy a portion of the property so they can stay.
Like most of her neighbors, Enriquez hopes the new administration under President-elect Rodrigo Duterte can help them.
“Solid Duterte kaayo mi mao nga bisan naa siya sa national, malaumon mi nga matabangan mi. Wa gyod mi lain gipangayo, relocation ra gyod (We’re solid Duterte supporters. And even though he’ll be president, we still hope he can help us here. We’re not asking for anything else, just a relocation site),” she said.
To show her support for the new president, Enriquez showed her basket full of balut, which bears his name.