Cebu City mulls temporary home for street dwellers at NRA

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | August 07,2020 - 06:49 PM

With the threat of the pandemic, most of the residents of Cebu City stay indoors but the homeless have nowhere to go.  | Delta Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines –Wanting to already address the concern on street dwellers during this time of a pandemic, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said that he already found an area at the North Reclamation Area (NRA) where they could be accommodated.

He said that the place has access to utilities like power and water.

“Naa natay nakitan nga lugar. Adto nato ibutang sila. Naa diri sa NRA. Ato nalang gifinalize ug ginegotiate,” the mayor said.

(We already found a place. We will relocate the homeless there. It is here at the NRA. We are just finalizing the negotiations.)

But Labella refused to already give additional information on the location and the condition of the city’s temporary shelter for its street dwellers.

As of this writing, Labella said they continue to study the viability of converting the area into a temporary shelter.

If possible, Labella said he wanted the shelter to already have an existing structure so that the city will no longer have to spend for the needed infrastructure.  The area should also be big enough to ensure social distancing among its occupants.

The Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) has so far identified 222 homeless individuals who now live on city streets.

The DSWS data still does not include the 96 homeless individuals who are currently accommodated at the Barangay San Nicolas gymnasium.

Jonil Matuguina, assistant chief of the DSWS, said they are still finalizing their master list to determine how many street dwellers they should accommodate at the planned shelter.

Matuguina said they are also in discussion with private individuals who wanted to send help for the street dwellers.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, the overseer of the Interagency Task Force (IATF), earlier asked the city government to find temporary shelter for the homeless.

The Department of Health (DOH) also said that the cleanliness of city streets is essential to in the fight against the coronavirus disease. / dcb


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TAGS: Labella, NRA, pandemic, street dwellers, temporary home

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