The Bacolod City government will be clearing certain areas in Barangay 7, Bacolod City, of illegal structures before the MassKara Festival in October, to provide more access roads that would help decongest traffic in the area.
The Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Laws and Ordinances, chaired by Councilor Caesar Distrito, discussed with various stakeholders yesterday the planned demolition of 29 houses in the barangay, that will open a new access road through 15th Lacson Street.
The public hearing was attended by the Barangay 7 Council, led by Barangay Captain Bernabe Sibug, members of the Urban Poor Purok Magnolia Chapter, City Legal Office-Enforcement Unit head Cesar Beloria, a representative from the Government Services and Insurance System, representatives of the Office of the City Mayor, and Bacolod Housing Authority head Josephine Segundino.
Officials and residents of Brgy. 7 had requested for the suspension of the demolition pending the determination of the ownership of the property.
Distrito said it was settled during the public hearing that the property intended for the road lots had already been purchased by the city from the GSIS.
He said the amount for the entire 1.7 hectares that housed 280 families in Brgy. 7 had been paid by the National Home Mortgage Finance to the GSIS that originally owned the property.
This places the 280 families under the coverage of the Community Mortgage Program, he added.
Beloria said only 29 families will be affected by the demolition but the date for its implementation has not been discussed yet.
He said they will implement the demolition before the MassKara Festival because the area will be considered a pilot site in Bacolod for the anti-poverty program of the Aquino administration.
Beloria said of the 29 affected families, 26 have pre-qualified for the CMP program with 15 to be absorbed by the UPPMC while only 11 will be relocated.
The residents who will be covered under the CMP will pay the NHMFC P220 per square meter.
Segundino said the informal settlers should start obtaining lots while the city still has available land for them.
Meanwhile, Beloria said part of 15th Street was donated by Capitol Subdivision and the city appropriated 643,000 in 1991 to buy the remaining property for road lots, footwalks and open spaces. Brgy. 7 covers 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th streets, he said.
Distrito said it is for the good of the city if there is a road lot in 15th Lacson Street because it will help decongest traffic.
Meanwhile, Councilor El Cid Familiaran said the SP approved City Ordinance 593 that provides for a comprehensive and sustainable development programs and services for the poverty alleviation of informal settlers in Bacolod City.
Familiaran, who authored the ordinance, said it provides that demolitions should only be conducted during summer when there are no classes. It also states that the city will shoulder the survey of the lot for those who want to avail of the CMP, he said.
The ordinance also provides that before the informal settlers will be transferred to a relocation site, the city should provide them temporary shelter, health services and transportation, he added.*CGS