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Bacolod eyes additional relocation site for squatters

December 2, 2008 6:49am
MANILA, Philippines - The Bacolod City government will acquire additional properties to convert into relocation sites for squatters, online news site The News Today reported.

Bacolod Housing Authority head Josephine Segundino said the Landbanking Committee had already submitted a recommendation to Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

Segundino said the acquisition of additional lots was recommended because the Abada-Escay Property that the city acquired during the administration of former Mayor Luzviminda Valdez is already occupied and could no longer accommodate more squatters.

Also, she said the city government faces more than 1,000 squatters every year and the only relocation site available is the Abada-Escay Property in Vista Alegre village.

The official said several landowners offered their land for sale which they included in the recommendation of the Landbanking Committee chaired by city councilor Dindo Ramos.

Possible relocation sites mentioned by the Housing head were Cabug, Felisa, Taculing, Mansilingan and Vista Alegre villages.

She stressed that in Vista Alegre there is a huge property foreclosed by the bank and offered for sale to the city government.

The city government faces the problem of squatters in Purok Santo-Domingo, Brgy. Banago where village residents demand for relocation site.

For its part, the Bacolod Housing Authority agreed to give three months extension for the squatters so that their relocation site could also be developed.

On the other hand, Ramos stressed that every year, the city appropriates more than P20 million for the acquisition of property for landbanking program.

He preferred to purchase the property adjacent to the Abada-Escay because the area is now developed and it is easy for the city to accommodate squatters.

Besides, he said the amenities are already intact like the roads, streetlights and water system.

Ramos further said that his committee awaits the final approval from the local chief executive.

Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson confirmed the city decision to acquire a piece of land but he has no definite areas mentioned.

Sayson said that once the city government provides a relocation site, it is not an obligation of the city government to give financial assistance especially if the squatters constructed their houses within a private property. - GMANews.TV
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