BACOLOD City – The Bacolod City Legal Office (CLO) enforced the demolition order against 25 informal settlers along the riverbank beside the San Antonio Abad Parish Church on Lacson Street Extension morning of July 11, 2018.
The order was issued as part of preparations for a road-widening project at Lupit Bridge.
The CLO team refused to comment on the enforcement of the order, however, they showed a document signed by City Legal Officer Rueben Mikhail Sabig.
Also, the demolition site has been identified as a “danger zone” due to frequent flooding during heavy downpours.
The residents in the area have been told to leave since 2013.
The CLO enforcement team was backed up by an anti-riot team from the Bacolod City Police Office, Bureau of Fire Protection.
The Bacolod Traffic Authority Office also went to the area to serve the demolition order.
Some of the residents voluntarily complied and started dismantling their own homes, while others protested at first before complying.
One of the residents, Mercidita Arroyo, said they appealed to the city government to postpone the demolition and they also requested to meet Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
Arroyo also said they have not received any financial assistance except for the P1,000 from the city government due to the “complicated” processing of requirements and documents.
She also said that they already have the documents for their new lots at the relocation site in Arao property at Barangay Vista Alegre.
Arroyo added that she has no problem with the relocation site but what they need is money to put up their new house.
Another informal settler, Donato Aguda, said, he is worried because they have no place to transfer yet.
He added that he had just applied for a spot at the relocation site which has yet to be approved.
On his part, Assistant City Engineer Ephraim Hechanova said the city government already offered a relocation package to the settlers.
Hechanova pointed out that the city government already informed them about the demolition.
He added that they implemented the demolition after the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor issued a clearance to demolish illegal structures in the area.