The province will donate a two-hectare lot in Barangay Busay in Cebu City to the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu to be used as a relocation site for settlers occupying portions of its property.
The Provincial Board (PB) approved a resolution authored by PB Member Jude Sybico authorizing Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III to sign on behalf of the province a deed of donation of the lot to the university.
“The central purpose of the donated parcel is such that it will be used exclusively as a relocation site for the informal settlers occupying the donee’s (UP) property,” the resolution read.
The two-hectare lot is part of a province-owned property in Barangay Busay which is over 17 hectares big.
Sought for comment, UP Cebu Dean Liza Corro welcomed the province’s latest move and said the provincial government has always been supportive of UP Cebu.
Corro said they will soon be working with the Cebu City government on processing the relocation of the informal settlers currently using a portion of a 2.6-hectare lot owned by the university in Sitio Avocado in Barangay Lahug just beside the school.
“This area is the one where the fire was. We would provide them an alternative place for relocation. Mayor Tom (Tomas Osmeña) will be helping us out. We just need the area to construct our new high school building,” Corro said.
She said the relocation of the informal settlers occupying the school’s lot will be done “gradually” and not right away.
In December last year, a fire hit Sitio Avocado which displaced close to 900 people.
Right after the fire, the management of UP Cebu tried to assert its ownership of the lot and bared long overdue plans to construct a new UP Cebu High School building in the fire site.
This was opposed by the settlers. Later on, the Cebu City government during the administration of former mayor Michael Rama sided with the settlers.
The city government insisted that UP Cebu should not take advantage of the fire in order to reclaim its property.
The settlers then rebuilt their homes after the area was reblocked.