The group of volunteers, and the Social Action Center coordinator of the Diocese of Dumaguete, Fr. Burton Villarmente, expressed concerns over incoming illegal settlers in the Caritas Village Housing Project Bajumpandan, Dumaguete City.
A volunteer reported that a shanty was built in the area by people claiming that they are victims of the flood from typhoon “Sendong.” The group later found out that the family did not seek permission either from the city government or from the Social Action Center.
Villarmente suggested that illegal settlers should not be allowed to stay in the area because they will cause disturbance during the construction of the houses. They are also concerned that if these illegal settlers are allowed stay they might invite their relatives to also live there.
They are closely coordinating with the Department of Social Welfare and Development office for verification of the bona fide recipients. Some of those who claim to be victims of the typhoon are actually evacuees coming from Mabinay town and Bais City.
The Core group is requesting the office of the City Planning and Development Office to conduct a survey and place markers in the areas where the next unit will be built.
Fr. Antonio Arnaiz, a member of the core group, said once the area is surveyed and proper markers are in place, it will discourage illegal settlers.
The area is still susceptible to illegal settlers because the group is still clearing the place.
Burton also suggested that Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria be informed of the situation, because the project is a partnership between the city government and the Roman Catholic church.
The Caritas Village Housing Project is funded by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and implemented through the Social Action Center and the Diocese of Dumaguete. Each housing unit has a budget of at least P40-45 thousand that includes dirty kitchen and toilet.
The Caritas Village Housing project is one of the projects of the former Bishop of Dumaguete, now Archbishop of Palo, John Du.*MA
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