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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, November 15, 2012
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More seek relocation site lots

More residents of 15th Street in Brgy. 7, Bacolod City, now want to avail of the relocation site at the former Arao property in Brgy. Alangilan, Bacolod City, Joselito Bayatan, City Legal Officer, said yesterday.

Bayatan said five out of the nine affected families, who had filed an injunction case against the city have approached the Bacolod Housing Authority Tuesday to process their applications for a relocation site.

The rest also want to avail of a site, except for one who may not be qualified because its members reportedly owns a house in another barangay, he said.

From the 26 structures demolished, 15 families were absorbed by the Urban Poor of Purok Magnolia Chapter Inc., while the rest have already applied for relocation at the former Arao property, Bayatan said.

The City Legal Office Enforcement Composite Team resumed the demolition of the remaining 26 structures in Brgy. 7 yesterday, starting from Lacson Street towards Ochoa Street.

Bayatan said the demolition was peaceful and there was no resistance from residents since they saw it being done in an orderly manner. Members of the UPPMCI who were also affected voluntarily helped demolish their structures.

He said they are opening 15th Street as required for the approval of the onsite development of the UPPMCI.

BHA head Josephine Segundino said they started giving applications for relocation as early as January, in reaction to the claims of some residents that they were not given enough time to prepare.

She said some residents have been requesting the city to delay the demolition until classes end. But classes already ended last March and have again opened, she added

Segundino said if they submit their complete documents, early, the processing of their relocation can be hastened.

She also required the UPPMCI to submit the names of residents who want to avail of its onsite development program, to ensure that those who will be given lots at the relocation site do not own other properties.

Bayatan said the Regional Trial Court had denied last September the injunction case filed against the city by the nine residents.

The city was then ready to initiate the demolition but decided to wait for the Court to decide on their motion for reconsideration that was denied in October, he said.

UPPMCI president Evangeline Gallero said some of the residents who resisted had earlier been offered lots but did not accept them because they found them too small.

She said they tried to help the families by giving them a choice between the relocation at the Arao property or the onsite development program in the barangay.

Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson appealed to the residents for their cooperation pointing out that the city had given them ample time to prepare. The demolition will give impetus in the area which could greatly benefit the people, he said.

Bayatan said the city is willing to help the affected families process their applications for relocation sites.

He also thanked Bacolod City Police director Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz for maintaining order in the area.*CGS

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