City to relocate settlers at catchment basin in airport

THE LOCAL government will have to find an alternative settlement area to the 122 families who are settling at the water catchment area of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport after they were found out to be disqualified for the city’s relocation program.

Acting city planning and development officer Roy Rigor told the TIMES that the City Housing Board had already tagged the properties in the area.

However, no one qualified to the relocation program.

The residents could likely be diverted to the city’s Balik Probinsya program, which funds the return of the urban poor to the outlying areas outside Davao through the City Social Services and Development Office.

The program falls under the CSSDO’s Emergency Welfare services.

The news comes a week after incoming president Rodrigo Duterte announced he would not tolerate demolition activities that did not have solutions such as relocation sites.

“If there is a pronouncement by the incoming president,” Rigor said, “we will have to honor it.”

However, even the city-owned relocation sites are already filled up.

The CPDO notes that the 1,200 lots of the 8-hectare property in Los Amigos is already full.

Another eight hectare site is in the pipeline, with the city working on the water and electricity connections.

Even this might not be enough.

“We need at least 20 hectares more,” Rigor said.

Rigor said that some of the residents at the catchment basin were fooled into settling into the area with a promise of “free land” at a government property.

“Yes, it is a government property, but it is the property of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines,” Rigor said, adding that this was not for residential use.

Without a cleared catchment area, nearby areas such as La Verna will be flooded, Rigor said.

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