Lapu-Lapu City to build 5 residential buildings in Pusok

CEBU. This is Sitio Sta. Maria in Barangay Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City after several houses were razed by a fire Tuesday, December 12, 2023.
CEBU. This is Sitio Sta. Maria in Barangay Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City after several houses were razed by a fire Tuesday, December 12, 2023.Photo courtesy of Lapu-Lapu City PIO

THE Lapu-Lapu City Government has announced its plans to construct five five-story residential buildings in Sitio Sta. Maria, Barangay Pusok.

These structures will serve as permanent housing for the residents who were displaced by the fire that occurred on December 12, 2023.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan told the media in an interview on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, that he is currently in negotiations with the private lot owners of Sitio Sta. Maria, hoping to convince them to donate at least 5,000 square meters of the lot where the socialized housing will be constructed.

Chan expressed his hope to obtain the lot owners' approval so that the construction of socialized housing can begin within this year.

He said the City Government has collaborated with the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DSHUD) to finance the housing project, although Chan has not yet disclosed the exact amount of the funding.

Chan also announced that the Lapu-Lapu City Council had amended the existing ordinance that imposed a moratorium on the construction of condominiums, subdivision residences, and socialized housing projects, to exempt Sta. Maria socialized housing.

The fire that struck Sta. Maria a week before Christmas in 2023 displaced roughly 1,400 families (7,870 individuals), according to the City's Public Information Office.

Mark Anthony Bautista, public information officer of Lapu-Lapu City, told SunStar Cebu on Thursday, March 21, 2024, that some of the affected residents went back to their provinces after receiving several cash assistance.

Some residents used the P15,000 rental fee for three months from the Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LCDRRMO) to relocate to other places.

The City has identified 561 affected homeowners in Sitio Sta. Maria and is continuously reblocking the area.

Reblocking involves increasing the distance between houses to limit the spread of fire and provide a clear path for emergency responders.

Out of the 561 households, only 460 will be allowed to return to the area and construct temporary houses while waiting for the socialized housing project.

"Ang ilang ipangtukod karon is only temporary shelter nila (What they will build now is only their temporary shelter). We don’t want them to be forever squatters; we want them to be forever; nga sila nay tag-iya sa ilang gipuy-an (...owners of where they live...) that is the objective of the City,” said Chan.

Chan clarified that only one area will be given to each household, as some households have claimed multiple areas.

Also, the remaining 101 homeowners will be relocated to a lot donated by the General Milling Corporation situated behind the Felicity Island Hotel, still in Barangay Pusok. (HIC)


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