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Mahiga Creek settlers bare woes

By: - Day Desk Editor / @dbongcac
/ 10:51 AM May 14, 2011

While Cebu City officials bicker over the fate of the Mahiga Creek settlers, the residents in sitio San Isidro, barangay Mabolo, which covers part of the creek, continue to voice concern over their uncertain future.

Estrella Arcepe said her two toddlers aged three and four years old have been experiencing coughs not long after their shanty was demolished by City Hall personnel.

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The two kids fell into a creek while they played games but somehow made it to shore.

“Maayo gani kay walay tubig ang sapa karon (They were lucky since the river was dry then),” she said.

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Arcepe, a mother of 10, is asking Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to allow them to rebuild their shanty or relocate them to a suitable site.

In the absence of a relocation site, she said her family would continue to occupy their demolished shanty where they have set up a makeshift shelter.

Arcepe’s family operates a vulcanizing shop in the area.

Gemma Rosaseña, president of the San Isidro Homeowners Association, claimed that Rama didn’t live up to his promise to occupants that the city would only clear structures within the 2.5-meter easement from the creek.

Rosaseña said had Rama honored his word, the demolition would have only cleared structures from along the 2.5-meter easement leaving behind a portion of their shanties for their shelter.

The association president and Arcepe were at the office of Councilor Alvin Dizon yesterday to seek his assistance.

Dizon, chairperson of the council’s housing committee, said City Hall is responsible for relocating the creek settlers under the Urban Housing and Development Act (UDHA).

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Rosaseña said association members intent to take legal actions against Rama.

Dizon said should a case be filed in court “sitio San Isidro will be a test case for other areas in the city with pending demolition order.”

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