Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez assured the Barangay 12 residents that there will be no demolition of houses this December.
This comes after Barangay 12 Captain JR Alcantara of Bacolod City earlier asked for the assistance of Benitez to give them enough time to demolish the houses of the affected residents for the development of Manokan Country.
Benitez said he will hold a meeting with the affected residents to discuss their concerns.
"We already have a schedule for the meeting so that we can give them a win-win solution,” he said.
He added that the Bacolod Housing Authority (BHA) is now conducting a survey to determine the total number of affected residents in Barangay 12.
The mayor noted that for now, they will take the words of the barangay officials regarding the affected residents, and then it will be subjected to the validation of the City Engineer’s Office to determine the delineation of the property covered by the SM Prime deal.
On October 20, the city government of Bacolod signed a contract agreement with SM Prime for the redevelopment of the iconic Manokan Country.
Once they determine the affected residents, Benitez said the city government will also provide them with a relocation site.
"There will be no demolition of houses next month, but by January 2024, the SM Prime will also start the development of the area. Let's see what we can do for them,” he said.
Alcantara earlier said it’s the plan of SM to demolish the affected houses next month to start the construction of the new building in Manokan Country.
He said two of his barangay kagawads will also be affected by the demolition, and there was no dialogue conducted between them and the city.
"We did not know if the city would provide relocation sites to the affected residents. At first, we assumed that only the Manokan Country tenants would be removed from the area,” he added.
The tenants will transfer to their temporary area at the parking lot of the nearby SM City Bacolod from January to March next year.
"It's our appeal to Mayor Benitez to follow the process in the demolition of the affected residents. It’s the appeal of my constituents to transfer them after the closing of classes next year. We are not against the development of the city; we are only asking to give us six months to demolish the houses,” Alcantara said.*