Only 1 out of 143 homeowners qualified for housing relocation

ONLY one of the 143 homeowners that were given notices to evacuate in two barangays here qualified for relocation, according to the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO)’s Housing and Homesite Division chief.

 Roy Ryan Rigor, in an interview, said that only one of the homeowners was qualified to be moved to the relocation areas of the city government.

 The informal settlers are from Barangays 40-D and 76-A, both situated at the bank of Davao River. The city government has ordered for the demolition of the houses in the hazard-prone areas to keep them away from danger brought by flood.

 Last month, tropical storm Vinta flooded at least 25 barangays out of the city’s 182 and affected around 22,000 families.

“We’ve notified them and informed them that they are on a danger-zone area,” Rigor said.

The residents are all informal settlers, he said.

 The city has so far acceded to the request of the residents to voluntarily demolish their homes.

“They appealed to us that they would do it themselves, at least for them to make use of the materials from their homes,” Rigor said, referring to the construction materials from the houses.

 The city government has so far cleared the houses under the Gov. Generoso Bridge, which was heavily flooded during the recent holidays.

 The city government has spent around P83.4 million in financial and material assistance to the families affected by the floods brought by Vinta.

 According to Rigor, the city tagged the houses as those outside the 30-meter buffer zone from Davao River.

No one could claim property rights in the area as these are dangerous spots to build houses, Rigor insisted.

 The buffer zone is delineated as parallel lines continued from a walkway near the southbound side of the Bolton Bridge leading towards the Davao Gulf, Rigor said.

So far, there has been no violence or resistance following the government-ordered demolition, with the recent floods a recent example of what could happen in extreme situations.

 During Vinta, Davao’s Central 911 hotline was swamped with calls, with residents clambering at their rooftops and making use of social media access to ask friends and family for help.

Mayor Sara Duterte has appealed to city residents to listen to barangay officials for disaster-related updates.

Posted in under_HEADLINES1