Families affected by Cebu City’s river projects top priority for social housing

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio February 19,2020 - 03:58 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A total of 907 informal settler families living along Cebu City’s rivers have been or will be relocated due to the river widening projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

In a document furnished to CDN Digital by the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP), there are at least 907 families from at least three barangays that have been affected by river widening projects covering Barangays Ermita, Pasil, Tejero, Tinago, Mambaling, and Duljo.

At least 285 families have been displaced in Barangays Pasil, Tinago, and Tejero for the widening projects of Rivers Guadalupe and Lahug from December to February 2020.

At least 49 households in Barangay Ermita have been affected with the removal of structures to follow the 3-meter easement from the riverbank of the Guadalupe River while, at least 573 more families in Barangay Tejero, Mambaling, and Duljo will be cleared from March to May 2020 for the Tejero Creek, and Rivers Lahug and Kinalumsan.

According to the DWUP report, most of the displaced families have opted for relocation to sites in Barangay Quiot while others opted to move to another residence not necessarily part of the relocation of the city.

In a phone interview with CDN Digital, Simeon Romarate, the head of DWUP said that these were long-planned relocations due to the DPWH projects and the residents have been properly informed.

The DPWH has been asking the city since September 2019 for the relocation of the informal settlers as they cause a delay in the river-widening projects which is in line with the city’s flood-control campaign.

Some P140 million from the national funds have been earmarked for these projects.

Mayor Edgardo Labella, in a phone interview with CDN Digital on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, said almost six hectares of city-owned lots will be allotted for social housing.

A 2-hectare lot in Barangay Lorega and another 3.7-hectare lot in Barangay Quiot have been tapped for social housing.

“The households in need of relocation will be accommodated. Those from the North District will be relocated to Lorega, while those from the South District will be relocated in Quiot,” he said.

He said the displaced individuals due to any demolition or displacement will be given top priority for social housing.

Labella is currently in Manila to meet with the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDDC), Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario.

The discussion he said, revolved around providing social housing to the public, and the mayor said the two lots will be the first of many.

Labella said that the informal settlers should be given a chance for a decent home. Each social housing will house at least 100 families while each hectare can have at least seven mid-rise tenements built.

The mayor said that the city aims to provide homes for 5,000 families in both the North and South Districts. /rcg

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TAGS: Cebu City social housing, DPWH, informal settlers, relocation sites, river projects

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