Restoration of lot hit by fire to solve encroachment issues
May B. Miasco/ATO (The Freeman) - November 23, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Following the fire incident last week, the entire area covering two sitios in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City will have to be developed after the City Hall’s Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor found out that even prior the fire, informal settlers have been encroaching the area’s open spaces and access roads.

The entire block, estimated to be about 4,000 square meters, will be restored through the city’s Slum Improvement and Resettlement program, even if only half of the area was hit by fire on Tuesday, November 17.

“The whole block, the one encircled with the road, will be restored on its original plan,” said DWUP Head Collin Rosell.

The fire in Sitios Abbya and Puntod displaced at least 571 residents (150 families).

Beside the fire-stricken area is a 30-meter wide road that has been occupied by informal settlers.

“As to those people encroaching the road, we will come to adopt a different measure with the aim that they will be accommodated and the road will be restored,” said Rosell.

The fire victims are currently staying at the Alaska Mambaling Elementary School after they were prevented to reconstruct their homes to pave way for the restoration plan.

Based on their records, Rosell said the affected families are the real beneficiaries of the SIR program.

“Based on our tracking on the area, there are only 34 home lots affected by fire while the rest were not. Because if we are talking of beneficiaries of SIR, they are awarded only with home lots (not only houses),” he said.

“For the original beneficiaries, there is already an existing plan. You cannot appreciate the plan because there are so many encroachment. The pathways are relatively straight but some were not maintained. Maybe the very reason, they did not construct at the same time,” he added.

On the 30-meter wide road, Rosell said a lot of structures are encroaching the area.

Apart from the side of the roads, he said the whole block has been fully occupied with informal settlers, based on their evaluation, thus providing minimal open spaces on the interior part of the barangay.

With this present setting, he said they will be adopting different approaches to make sure that everyone will be accommodated.

“If we do some sort of re-blocking or restoration of what has been originally laid in the area, we have to consider the ones living along the road since there were not part of the original plan so they must have a different treatment,” said Rosell.

“But we are planning to have them all accommodated, but on how to do it, this is one thing that we are discussing with the group,” he said, adding that they will be scheduling meetings with those families to be involved under the SIR program.  (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC ALASKA MAMBALING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AREA BARANGAY MAMBALING CEBU CITY CITY HALL FIRE HEAD COLLIN ROSELL SITIOS ABBYA AND PUNTOD SLUM IMPROVEMENT AND RESETTLEMENT WELFARE OF THE URBAN POOR
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