A SITE developer recently gave informal settlers in Barangay Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City free lots as their relocation site and cash assistance to each household.
The firm, Seascape Properties Inc., heeded Mayor Junard Chan, who, since his first day in office, has always been on the side of the poor. He had said he would never allow the eviction of informal dwellers without giving them a relocation site.
Chan said he was glad the developer respected his stand on defending his homeless constituents.
The developer will transform the area, which is over seven hectares, into an international tourist hub.
“Soon there will be a beachfront hotel, a condominium, condotels, swimming pools and shopping arcades there,” said Edmund Dejaresco of Seascape Properties.
He added that this tourism hub will spur more jobs to local residents and more tourists will come to Lapu-Lapu City.
Dejaresco was tasked to faciliate the smooth relocation of 400 families in Sitios Kalipayan and Malingin in Punta Engaño.
This development is in line with the reopening of the city’s tourism industry led by Chan and his wife Cindi King-Chan, chairperson of the City Tourism, Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission .
“We are happy that the developer is providing relocation site for informal settlers,” said Cindi.
Last month, a simple awarding of lot assignments was held for the initial 43 of the 400 beneficiaries. This first batch of beneficiaries already signed their individual deed of assignments.Mayor Chan was invited to the event but he had a previous appointment to attend to.
Dejaresco said more families will be awarded with lot assignments in the coming days. Beneficiaries will move out by batches
He said each beneficiary will receive a 30 square-meter lot in the relocation sites; receive financial assistance of P15,000; get assistance in demolishing their houses and in their moving-out transportation; and get the services of carpenters in building new homes at the relocation sites.
The relocation sites have drainage systems, comfort rooms, bathrooms and hand-pumped water wells. The relocation sites are in Cordova and Barangay Sudtungan and a tentative third site Barangay Subabasbas, both in Lapu-Lapu City.
Dejaresco said he expects some families to choose compensation so they can return to their hometowns as life in the city is difficult without work amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Chan negotiated with the developer for a smooth transfer of these settlers as he has a soft heart for them.
Last month, the mayor came to the rescue as security guards were preventing informal settlers in Sitio Hawaiian from repairing their homes.
Chan told the guards that building new homes was prohibited but residents could go ahead and repair their existing houses.
He told the guards, “Di ko mosugot kon wa sila’y kabalhinan ug di ko mosugot kon di’ sila hatagan og (I will not allow if they are not given a relocation site and I will not allow if they are not given) financial assistance.”
Through Mayor Chan’s representation, the developer Seascape Properties Inc. helped the informal settlers get a smooth relocation.