Cebu City to prioritize commercial structures in ‘Gubat sa Baha’ drive

Cebu City map.
Cebu City map.

INFORMAL settlers affected by Cebu City’s “Gubat sa Baha” campaign will be spared from the clearing operations, as their relocation site remains uncertain.

As of May 9, 2024, the City Government has ordered 16 establishments to cease their operations for violating the three-meter easement zone along Estero de Parian.

Retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano, head of Task Force Gubat sa Baha, said 91 informal settlers will be affected by the clearing operation.

Feliciano said they cannot remove the informal settlers yet as the construction of the temporary housing in the South Road Properties (SRP) has yet to begin.

It has been more than a year since the City Government promised to construct temporary housing intended for the residents who will be affected by the Gubat sa Baha initiative.

Feliciano assured that they would prioritize the relocations of the informal settlers before pulling them out from their respective areas along Estero de Parian.

“We cannot displace them without giving them relocation facilities,” Feliciano said.

Feliciano added that they are planning to put up 500 temporary shelters in SRP for these families.

He said there is a five-hectare area in the SRP, which could accommodate the displaced families.

He added that once the temporary shelters are built, then they will transfer the affected families.

Meanwhile, Feliciano said so far, 21 of 53 establishments have been cleared, either voluntarily or through demolition.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, on the other hand, said that the remaining 32 will also be cleared, with 18 already issued cease-and-desist orders on May 9, 2024.

The Commission on Audit and the Department of Public Works and Highways regional offices, which are among the establishments violating the Water Code, will receive clearing orders pending coordination.

The 14 establishments await technical reports from the Department of Engineering and Public Works. / AML

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