The City Legal Office-Enforcement Team will resume today the demolition of the structures of informal settlers living on the riverbank under the Lupit Bridge in Bacolod City after the lapse of the one week moratorium requested by the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod.
The SP approved a resolution last week asking the CLO to observe a one-week moratorium to give the 25 informal settlers time to work out their relocation.
City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan yesterday said they are proceeding with the widening of the Lupit Bridge, since the area is heavily congested during peak hours in the morning and afternoon. They have to clear the area for the installation of steel beams for the expansion of the bridge.
Bayatan said the affected residents are living in a danger zone and are highly vulnerable to floods, earthquakes and landslides during heavy rains. Since they are highly vulnerable to disaster, there is no reason for them to stay there for whatever reasons, either for business or housing.
So as much as possible, they have to implement the demolition because they are proceeding with the bridge widening project which has already been delayed for almost six months, he said.
“We are actually doing them service, to protect them from any possible disaster. They have to be relocated for their personal benefit,” Bayatan said.
They have met with the affected families several times and they already have obtained clearance from the Presidential Commission on Urban Poor to proceed with the demolition of the illegal structures after complyingwith several processes, he said.
Bayatan said if some of them did not process their requirements to avail of a lot at the relocation site of the city, it means they have their own relocation site to transfer to.
He said that if the affected families request again for a delay in the demolition, they do not want to give them false hopes. “We do not also want to stall our duty to protect them, and at the same time promote public welfare and public safety.”
Bayatan said that there had already been an order for them to vacate the area in 2015 in line with the thrust of the city to remove vulnerable structures in disaster prone areas.*CGS
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