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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, July 18, 2016
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TRO eyed vs. road closure

The barangay captain of Brgy. 41, Bacolod City, said they are planning to seek a temporary restraining order or injunction from the court to stop the Araneta family and Megaworld from closing the access road of the Bacolod Murcia Milling Company leading to Doña Juliana Heights.

Barangay Captain Leonilo Colegado, in an interview over Aksyon Radyo yesterday, said the residents of Brgy. 41 are willing to transfer to the Arao Relocation site, but the area is not yet ready.

He said that since the property owner closed the access road from BMMC leading to Doña Juliana Heights yesterday, about 1,000 residents living near the riverbank have been affected.

BMMC has provided them access through Lopez Jaena–Galo streets, but they are asking for reconsideration since the road is too far for the residents, Colegado said.

They submitted a barangay resolution to the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod last week asking for a survey and ocular inspection by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the City Engineer's Office on the boundary of the Araneta property and Gonzaga property in Purok 4, beside the creek in Purok 5 near the riverbank, because they believe the survey done by the property owner is not correct, he said.

They also wrote the Araneta family on the matter but have not received any reply, he added.

Megaworld is planning to build its first township, to be called The Upper East at the 34-hectare property that used to be the BMMC on the eastern side of Bacolod and is just across the city government center.

Meanwhile, Felipe Minerva, Megaworld operations manager for the Visayas, had earlier written the SP, that they cannot delay the closure of the main gate of the BMMC compound because the present occupants of the property have alternative routes going out and getting in to the compound, such as the Galo-Lopez Jaena road.

He said they have given the occupants/squatters enough notices and all the accommodations they need to relocate, such as  relocation site and helped them in processing Bacolod Housing Authority requirements for lot allocation, including financial assistance, demolition/hauling assistance, water facilities at the relocation site (4 units deep well) and electrical facilities. 

The continued presence of informal settlers in the area will cause a delay in the project and its completion, Minerva added. 

On the other hand, Councilor Renecito Novero, chairman of the SP Committee on Urban Poor, Housing and Resettlement, said they will study the possibility of creating a trust fund for manmade disaster under an ordinance that was authored by former Councilor and now Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran.

Under the ordinance the fund will be taken from the calamity fund, which can be utilized in providing assistance for victims of relocation and ejectment, that can be considered as manmade disaster, he said.

Novero said they have discussed the matter with the urban poor and this will be among the items to be taken up in their July 29 conference at the government center.

They have invited Mayor Evelio Leonardia to give the welcome address and answer the concerns of the urban poor during the conference, he said.

One of the problems of the urban poor is urban housing and relocation. He met with them before June 30 on the matter, Novero said.

However, the Bacolod Housing Authority has no official head yet so, it could not decide as far as providing assistance, identification of beneficiaries and relocation sites, he said.*CGS




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