2 buildings to house squatters

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

THE Cebu City Government will build two medium-rise buildings for the relocation of informal settlers in danger zones and will be funded by the National Housing Authority (NHA) in the amount of P78 million.

Speaking during the Kapihan sa PIA yesterday, NHA 7 Regional Manager Gavino D. Figuracion said the budget will be taken from the P100-million Poverty Alleviation 3 under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 1988 and is now being discussed by the NHA Board.

Figuracion said the two medium-rise buildings will be in a city-owned lot in Barangay Lorega-San Miguel, near the low-rise building built by the Gawad Kalinga.


He said the Cebu City Government will conduct the bidding for the two low-rise buildings once there is already an approval from the NHA Board.

“The P78 million is already with NHA, then Cebu City will implement the project. The releases of the money to the Cebu City Government is by accomplishment basis,” Figuracion said.


The other P22 million of the P100 million poverty alleviation fund was used to buy lot/property in Barangay Budlaan, Cebu City, with an area of 2.4 has. for the Budlaan Resettlement Project.

A total of 127 houses were already built and ready for occupancy for 140 families from a disputed 9,000-sq.m. lot in Barangay Carreta where a bloody demolition happened in 2000.

Of the 140 families, only 98 are given the priority to own houses. The remaining 29 houses will be offered to the other families with no structures in Carreta.

Figuracion explained that the demolition, which was met with violent resistance, stemmed from the order of the court that the lot occupied by about 140 families is owned by a private person.

He said that because of the bloody incident, then President Joseph Estrada with the support of then senator John Osmena ordered NHA to expropriate the lot and distribute it to the occupants.

However, Figuracion said the court fixed the price at P11,200/sq.m., and when the court garnished NHA’s funds to cover the expropriation compensation including interest, it totaled P150 million, raising the value of the lot at P15,000 per square meter.

“When the NHA realized that it is no longer affordable for low cost housing, we negotiated with the beneficiaries for them to relocate and they themselves chose Budlaan as relocation site,” Figuracion said.


Only 61 of the 140 families now have voluntarily transferred to their new homes.

“We are giving the remaining families until Sept. 30 to relocate. Otherwise, we will offer the remaining units to other informal settlers in Cebu City,” Figuracion said.

He said the Budlaan Relocation Project is near the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus and the Gaisano Mall in Talamban.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 05, 2014.

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