Cebu City folk appeal for aid as massive clearing of waterways starts

Published August 13, 2022, 2:03 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – Several residents appealed to authorities not to demolish their dwellings until they are given necessary assistance as this city started a massive clearing operation in waterways in the aftermath of recent floods.

CEBU City Hall workers demolish structures that stood within the three-meter easement zone on Kinalumsan River in Barangay Mambaling. (Cebu City PIO photo)

Some residents in Barangay Mambaling are set to lose their homes after their houses were found to have encroached the three-meter easement zone on Kinalumsan River.

“If ever our houses will be demolished, we are hoping that we will be given assistance first so that we can find a place that we can rent. My parents are both 75-years-old, where will I put them? We cannot just leave them floating in the river,” Alma Genesis said in the vernacular.

Genesis and Juliet Bacalso said that they were among the residents who have yet to receive cash assistance from the city government but their houses are already up for demolition.

They have already relayed their concerns to the city Division for the Welfare of the Urban (DWUP).

They said they are ready to leave as long as they will be given assistance for their relocation.

Jennifer Alviola, administrative aide of DWUP, said the residents’ concerns will be relayed to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which is the lead agency in the city-wide clearing operations.

Alviola assured that financial assistance will be given to the affected residents before their houses will be demolished.

In Barangay Duljo Fatima, 203 families will be affected by the clearing operation and 182 of them have received financial assistance, said Councilor Jerry Guardo, chairman of the city council Committee on Infrastructure.

In Barangay Mambaling, 314 structure owners will be affected and 297 of them have already been paid.

The city-wide clearing operations stemmed from the heavy flooding that the city has experienced in the past days due to incessant rains. The flooding was blamed to clogged rivers, drainage, and other waterways.