Pro-poor groups laud moratorium on demolitions in Cebu City
AT least seven pro-poor and militant groups lauded Cebu City Acting Mayor Margot Osmeña for suspending the implementation of all pending demolition orders involving vendors and informal settlers occupying public places and city-owned properties.
Tadeo Navea, of Sanlakas-Cebu, yesterday visited the office of Osmeña to formally present their “statement of support” to the acting mayor.
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to (acting) Mayor (Margot) Osmeña and once again renew our partnership and cooperation to promote and uphold the rights and welfare of our people,” Navea said.
Navea said they were disappointed when the proposed ordinance providing a one-year moratorium on demolitions authored by Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon, and backed by Bando Osmena Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) councilors that then included Osmeña, was vetoed by now suspended Mayor Michael Rama.
Dizon, on the other hand, revealed that, so far, seven major groups have supported the memorandum issued by Osmeña to suspend all demolitions. He identified them as Anakbayan, Cebu City Urban Poor Alliance, Sanlakas, Freedom from Debt Coalition, ABACA Urban Poor Federation, All Power Urban Poor and Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya.
Navea noted that the city’s marginalized sector has long been struggling to stop demolitions that have resulted to homelessness but they were ignored by City Hall until now.
Navea said they were happly that they now have “a friendly political leadership” in the city government and hoped to work closely with the new city administration to uplift the condition of and “empower” the marginalized sector.
He added that the Osmeña memorandum was positive step “to show that the City of Cebu is a city that cares for the rights of the poor for the marginalized.”
In the memorandum issued last Monday, May 23, Osmeña however said that the suspension would not apply if there would be an urgent neeed to relocate families to prevent loss of lives and property.
The moratorium would not also cover new structures built by informal settlers as of Jan. 1, 2016, as certified by the concerned barangay government.
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