Granting of financial assistance to Lahug demolition victims scrutinized
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Local Housing Board (LHB) sought the help of the Cebu City government to provide financial assistance to the 36 households affected in the demolition of a University of the Philippines (UP) owned lot in Barangay Lahug.
However, the City Council questioned why 14 of the households were not listed along with the others who were issued with the Writ of Demolition.
Councilor Joy Augustus Young asked if the city would be obliged to provide financial assistance to households that were not included in the Writ of Demolition.
However, Councilor Raymond Garcia said that at least 75 households were affected but only 22 were part of the Writ of Demolition.
The Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) has surveyed the households, did the profiling, and already verified the household owners.
Garcia said not all households were necessarily included in the Writ of Demolition but as their structures stood in the UP-owned lot, they were still demolished.
Councilor Eugenio Gabuya, Jr., questioned if the city had to provide financial assistance to the victims of demolition when they were already given financial assistance by UP.
The LHS sought for a P23,000 financial assistance to each household corresponding to a minimum wage for 60 days.
“Basin mohatag tag financial assistance nya nihatag pud ang UP. Nagdoble na,” said Gabuya.
(If we give financial assistance and UP already gave them assistance, it would be redundant.)
For Young, providing the households with financial assistance would set a wrong precedent to other victims of demolition that they would immediately be entitled to financial assistance from the government.
Demolition of private lots upon the order of the court are the responsibility of the private owner although the city ensures that the households are taken care of.
Young said the city might lose too much funds in the future if it would keep providing for demolition of victims even if they were displaced from private lots.
The council decided to have the households verified through DWUP and Councilor Philip Zafra will lead the verification.
The approval of the financial assistance will be determined only after the verification of the households, including those included in the Writ of Demolition. /dbs
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