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Cebu News

Osmeña halts Apas fencing operation

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CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña ordered the temporary suspension of the fencing activity in upper Don Bosco, Barangay Apas taking into consideration the appeal of the residents to stop the ongoing fencing for fear that access roads will be closed, trapping them inside and making it hard for them to escape in case of emergencies like fire.

Osmeña personally ordered businessman Richard Unchuan, the lessee of the Lot 941 occupied by the residents of upper Don Bosco, to stop for a while the fencing while the city government investigates and checks on the real status of the residents occupying the area.

Lot 941 was originally owned by the Mactan International Airport Authority (MCIAA) which has left the lot idle for more than 10 years until informal settlers occupied the area. Some occupants are also leasing the property from the MCIA but their contract was already terminated a year ago.

Osmeña said they will be looking into the status of each structure in the area because some of them are covered by the Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992.

Under the act, a government-owned lands which have not been used for the purpose for which they have been reserved or set aside for the past 10 years from its effectivity on 1992 and identified as suitable for socialized housing, shall immediately be transferred to the National Housing Authority.

Osmeña stressed however that the law covered only those who are original occupants or the urban poor but not those who are leasing the property because they are considered legitimate occupants until their contract of lease terminates.

He told Unchuan and the representatives of MCIAA that they could not force the residents covered by RA 7289 without court order and relocation for them, to which the businessman agreed.

Unchuan said they are not asking the residents to leave their location but the fencing just meant to protect the property he is now leasing.

He cited their fencing permit and plan does not intend to enclose the whole property without giving the resident proper ingress and egress. He swore it in front of the residents, Osmeña and Congressman Raul del Mar who came with the mayor to do the ocular inspection of the area.

Del Mar said that he will assist the city in the research and investigation of the real status of the property. All necessary documents will be collected, he added.

Osmeña said that they will also verify with the MCIAA what is Unchuan’s real and legal status as a lessee.

Upper Don Bosco is occupied by 170 households with two to three families occupying each household. If demolished, almost 350 families will be displaced.

Upper Don Bosco Community Livelihood Association, Inc. Chairman Edgardo Bongoyan said that MCIAA has tried demolishing them back in 2004 but they did not succeed because the case for forcible entry was dismissed by the court.

“Naglisod naman gud sila’g pahawa namo maong mao ni ilang paagi para mapahawa mi. I-trap mi nila para simbako kung naay sunog, di mi kagawas,” Bongoyan alleged.

Bongoyan said that they only want Unchuan to stop the fencing so they will have sufficient road access. As to their relocation, he said they will be waiting for the court decision.

Osmeña will task the office for the urban poor of the city to take charge of the residents’ concerns. — Jessica Ann R. Pareja/WAB    (FREEMAN NEWS)

BARANGAY APAS

BONGOYAN

CEBU CITY MAYOR TOMAS OSME

CHAIRMAN EDGARDO BONGOYAN

CONGRESSMAN RAUL

DEL MAR

DON BOSCO

JESSICA ANN R

MACTAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY

OSME

UNCHUAN

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