By: Intern, January 30th, 2018 10:59 PM
After having their houses destroyed by the recent fire in Barangay Pasil in Cebu City, at least 300 individuals including some fire victims or an estimated 60 to 70 households will be displaced by the planned river widening and development project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Genevieve Alcoseba, Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) operations chief, said that the 60 to 70 households in the barangay would not be allowed to build permanent structures at the riverbanks because of the planned DPWH project.
The decision was made after a coordination meeting with DPWH, Barangay Pasil Council and Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) last Jan. 9.
Alcoseba said that the affected residents would be relocated, with the relocation to be funded by the DPWH.
When asked about how many affected, Alcoseba said she could not an exact number because the validation of the families involved were still ongoing.
Lea Japson, Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) head, said that the DSWS formula for an estimate while the verification of families is ongoing is 5 individuals for a household.
This means that there are an estimate of 350 individuals for 70 households.Lourdes, 46, a Pasil resident, said she was worried about relocating especially from an area far from Pasil.
“We don’t want to leave Pasil, my husband’s livelihood is fishing, my two sons are just porters in Carbon and I sell food here,” she said in Cebuano.
Alcoseba, however, said that DWUP had not yet finalized the relocation site for the affected households.
“We haven’t decided yet where the relocation sites will be, but the bigger the better, since it will be occupied by a great number of households,” said Alcoseba.
Meanwhile, an estimated 3,000 fire victims of Barangay Pasil would also be affected by the reblocking and subdivision plan of Block 5 and 6 in Barangay Pasil.
Alcoseba said that they would strictly implement the reblocking of the area.
“Along with the implementation will be the set backing of houses that will be constructed, especially the ones facing the pathways — may it be the inner pathways or the bigger pathways that are up to 4 meters (in width). We made them understand that we will strictly implement this (reblocking), so that pathways that are encroached by residents’ houses will be cleared and restored,” said Alcoseba in Cebuano.
She also sought the barangay’s support in building their infrastructure.
She advised residents not to build houses with the second and third floor which encroach on the pathways.
She also wants to show the Slum Improvement and Resettlement (SIR) occupants that there is clarity and order in pathways upon implementing the subdivision plan.
“This is what Mayor Tommy wants, to re-block them, so that they may claim their rightful lots, and if something happens in the future like a fire, we can prevent it from getting bigger because we can easily have access to the area,” said Alcoseba in Cebuano.
She also advised the barangay officials to be stricter in clearing the pathways of the barangay — clear structures like mini-computer shops and sari-sari stores encroaching on the road, and pedicabs parked along the pathways,
“Well, the barangay is very cooperative, and we can see that they like the program. They also asked for our timeline,” said Alcoseba.
She said that the area in Barangay Pasil that was hit by fire last January 14 is under a housing program of the city government and occupied by the program beneficiaries.
However, the DWUP team is still profiling the residents to validate and finalize the awardee of the housing program with a concrete data since some recorded official beneficiaries and the actual occupants of the residences did not match.
She said that we are still gathering more data so that we could have a clearer picture of the number of beneficiaries and we could have a solid data base of the beneficiaries.