A controversy resulting from what could be a case of miscommunication reached the attention of the Cebu City Council.
It all started with a letter to Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña from Buot barangay captain Rosalina Callino informing the mayor that at least 10 students from her barangay were no longer allowed to stay in the city-owned condominium along N. Bacalso Avenue.
The students were reportedly told by the building’s staff that they needed to first get a recommendation from Buot barangay councilor Rogelio Cabrillos before they could continue their stay.
Later approached by the students, the councilor reportedly refused to issue the recommendation as he was not aware of any such policy.
Without the “recommendation” by today, October 1, the students, according to Buot captain Callino could no longer enter or access the building as a notice to vacate was allegedly posted in the condominium.
Buot is a mountain village, south of Cebu City.
“These students are now and have been occupying the Cebu City condominium since they were in their first year in college. They have all been religiously paying their monthly rental and have never been in violation of any of the rules and regulations of the condominium,” she said in her letter to Osmeña.
Students staying in the five-storey condominium pay a monthly minimum fee of P350 for the building’s maintenance, water and electricity.
It did not take long for the issue to reach Cebu City Councilor Jose Daluz III who then brought up the matter during the council’s regular session last Tuesday.
Daluz pointed out that under City Ordinance No. 2174, which formally converted the condominium into a dormitory, only students from the city’s mountain barangays studying in the city are allowed to use the building.
“Second, the administrator can only refuse access or remove an occupant who abuses the privilege associated with the obligations or rights of the occupants ,” Daluz said.
The council then approved a resolution requesting the condominium administrator to strictly adhere to the provisions of the city ordinance and to stop issuing new directives that violate the ordinance.
Sought for comment, condominium caretaker Nanette Garong, denied posting a notice to vacate for the students.
“There is none. Even if you go to the condominium, there is no notice there that they’re only until October 1,” she said.
Garong also expressed surprise that the matter reached the attention of the Cebu City Council when she has not received a complaint.
According to Garong, last August, some students were asked to vacate the condominium as the Office of the Building Official (OBO) recommended the removal of at least 30 rooms located near the building’s fire exit.
These were the students who were given the notice to vacate, she said, but it was not because they needed an endorsement from any barangay official.
There city-owned dormitory is currently being occupied by about 400 students from Cebu Citys mountain barangays.