Council re-passes vetoed ordinance
May B. Miasco/FPL (The Freeman) - January 20, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Urban poor members yesterday commended the City Council for passing the re-introduced ordinance earlier vetoed by Mayor Michael Rama seeking to impose a one year moratorium on demolitions.  

The urban poor witnessed when the members of the City Council passed for the second time the proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Alvin Dizon.

 “In view of the urgent plea of the urban poor and civil society groups, this representation re-filed this proposed legislation to compel the city government to undertake clear measures to provide decent and adequate housing prior to any eviction or demolition,” said Dizon.

Dizon, who chairs the City Council’s Committee on Housing, expressed his joy after majority of his colleagues supported the proposed measure.

He was optimistic that acting mayor Edgardo Labella would consider approving it. The acting mayor, however, said he is yet to scrutinize the proposed measure. He is given 10 days to act on it as soon as he receives a copy.

The proposed measure was earlier vetoed by Rama claiming that it contravenes the existing national laws and policies.

“The proposed one year period of the moratorium is but a period that is ironically given for the benefit of the city government to ready itself for the responsibilities that inevitably follow after every demolition.  When one thinks about it, the city government does not even deserve such an allowance. It should be all times prepared to carry out its mandate to provide for the homeless following the exercise of its authority to evict people and families from where the law defines as danger areas,” Dizon told his colleagues in his sponsorship speech.

City councilors Gerardo Carillo and Noel Wenceslao objected the proposed ordinance at first but later on withdrew their objection after a compromise agreement.

“Putting up houses near the railroads and riverbanks and other public places, we are endangering their lives. I cannot imagine for the city government to allow them to stay on these areas. With all due respect, I am registering my objection,” said Carillo.

He added that the city officials cannot tolerate on letting the people live in indecent housing.

But Dizon said the ordinance is not absolute and it provides exceptions particularly when there is an urgent necessity to relocate the families to prevent loss of lives and property given that temporary relocation will be provided.

Wenceslao also expressed his objection since the proposed measure covered the temporary suspension of demolitions of structures built in public places such as parks, playgrounds, cemeteries, waterways, among others.

The compromise agreement includes the identification of specific barangays or qualified beneficiaries that will be prioritized in providing relocation sites. The 10,000 informal settlers who were duly registered by the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor will be covered by the moratorium.— (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BUT DIZON CITY CITY COUNCIL COUNCILOR ALVIN DIZON DIZON EDGARDO LABELLA GERARDO CARILLO AND NOEL WENCESLAO MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA PROPOSED WELFARE OF THE URBAN POOR
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