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Cebu News

Arce: Citi Center residents were okay with demolition

Mechelle P. Florita/ATO - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The chief of the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (PROBE) stressed that residents of the Citi Center Complex (CCC) in Barangay Kamagayan voluntarily cleared the area to give way to the demolition.

This amid questions raised by the Cebu City Council and some residents of the property on the legality of the demolition.

PROBE chief Raquel Arce said the PROBE team assisted the residents in the demolition of their houses.

However, former Kamagayan barangay captain Celestino Avila opposed Arce’s statement during the executive session yesterday.

“Dili na tinuod. Walay tawo nga gusto maguba ang pinuy-anan. Ganahan pa man gani ang tawo nga naay kapuy-an,” he said.

Arce said that the residents requested for the demolition but when asked by the city council if there was a written request, she said it was only verbal.

“They were eager for the demolition. There’s no resistance from them,” Arce added.

Councilor Lea Japson, for her part, said the residents possibly agreed to the demolition to avoid chaos from the demolition team.

“Mo-agree ko nga ni- volunteer sila because of that problem nga if ang PROBE mo-demolish wala gyud silay makuha bisa’g usa kabuok (from their things),” she said.

Arce also clarified that the notice of the demolition only covers the residents outside the CCC. City Administrator Lucelle Mercado said that Carreta Barangay Captain Eddie Lauron extended his help to demolish the CCC building.

Arce said PROBE has also given the residents notices at least 19 days before they started the demolition last August 18.

Further, Arce said the purpose of the clearing operation is to reblock the area since the city government is planning to build two five-storey condominiums in the area – one is for the City Hall employees and the other is for the qualified residents of the barangay. However, there is no specific funding yet on the said project.

Section 28 of the Republic Act 7279 known as “Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992” states that demolitions may be allowed “when government infrastructure projects with available funding are about to be implemented.”

Last year the City Council passed Ordinance 2356 known as “an ordinance Imposing a Moratorium on Demolition in the City Center Complex, Cebu City.”

Among the conditions are adequate consultations with the settlers, identification of the latter’s relocation site and representation in the Task Force organized under the ordinance, from the informal dwellers themselves, and the National Housing Authority.

Benjamin Militar, counsel of the CCC residents, said the government did not follow the rules of the demolition stated in the ordinance.  (FREEMAN)

ARCE

BARANGAY KAMAGAYAN

BEAUTIFICATION AND ENHANCEMENT

BENJAMIN MILITAR

CARRETA BARANGAY CAPTAIN EDDIE LAURON

CEBU CITY

CEBU CITY COUNCIL

CITY

DEMOLITION

RESIDENTS

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