A RESIDENTIAL project worth P57 million is set to be constructed for homeowners whose houses will be demolished as the government needs to acquire their lots for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) project.
Dante Estrobo, officer-in-charge of the National Housing Agency (NHA) in Cebu, said a housing project will be developed specifically for residents affected by the construction of the CBRT’s Package 2.
“We have (a) relocation (plan) for those affected by the Bus Rapid Transit. We indeed need to relocate some families, so we are still finalizing some details,” he said in his interview last Nov. 7.
Package 2 includes routes from the Cebu Provincial Capitol to IT Park in Barangay Lahug and another from the Cebu South Bus Terminal in N. Bacalso Avenue, Cebu City, to the South Road Properties.
Estrobo said the units to be constructed will be exclusively allotted to the 57 affected residents in Barangay Mambaling.
Unlike other housing projects with individual residential structures, he said this one will be a medium-rise condo-type infrastructure where residents will be housed together in their respective units. This will resemble the five-story socialized housing condominium in Barangay Lorega.
Budget and location
Estrobo said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will fund the project, emphasizing that its role is only to facilitate the construction of the housing project.
He said it can be considered that each unit will have a budget of P1 million. However, the total funding of P57 million will already cover the land development of the site.
He said the location of the property is still being finalized as well as planning of the infrastructure’s design.
He added that initially, they suggested constructing a condominium-type structure in Barangay Tejero, but the City Government opposed this proposal.
The reasons cited by the City were the relatively high property prices in Tejero and the change of administration in the City Hall.
He said the Cebu City Government will receive the budget from DOTr and its focus will only be on the building construction of the project.
Estrobo added that the contractor of this project is yet to be determined through public bidding.
Estrobo said they aim to initiate the project between the first and second quarters of 2024, spanning from January to August, but he didn’t specify the completion date.
As to the order of either starting the project or demolishing the houses first has yet to be decided. However, he assured that allowances would be provided to affected residents.
“Either way, we have allocated a rental allowance to those who will be relocated. So, if our building is not yet finished but their homes are already demolished then they are entitled to the help,” he said.
Carolyn Mae Mendoza, the officer overseeing BRT-related projects at the NHA, said a family of three is eligible for a monthly rental allowance of P3,000, with an extra P1,000 for each additional family member.
During the relocation to the completed building, affected families will receive a food allowance for the transition.
City Councilor Jerry Guardo, infrastructure committee chairman, said Friday, Dec. 1, that the identified beneficiaries of the housing project are exclusively the illegal settlers facing displacement due to the BRT project.
However, he said their houses must undergo 80 to 100 percent demolition. Guardo clarified that if the houses are only partially demolished, occupants might still be inclined to stay and attempt to build makeshift houses.
Private lot owners
He said private lot owners will receive just compensation for the right-of-way acquisition. As they will receive compensation, the government is not responsible for finding their relocation, he added.
In a SunStar Cebu report dated Sept. 25, around 100 families and property owners living along F. Vestil Road in Mambaling and Barangay Talamban are set to be affected by the ongoing construction of the BRT project.
In Talamban, there is a proposal to build a terminal under Package 3.