By Nora Soriño
Iligan City Bureau Chief,
and Sita Asequia
Iligan City — The city council here has scheduled a conference with the stakeholders before demolishing the structures with “extensions” in the Bayanihan Village, Barangay Sta. Elena –– a housing resettlement for ‘Sendong’ survivors.
City councilor Jake Balanay, chair of the committee on housing development and urban poor said they will hold the conference on March 27 at 9 am at the Tomas Cabili Barangay Gymnasium.
Balanay said the central point of discussion will be on the scheduled padlocking and demolition of units in Bayanihan Village.
The councilor added that there are more than 400 units in the village that had “clear violations.” on the settlement.
To recall, the housing units were awarded to survivors of the Dec. 17, 2011 Supertyphoon ‘Sendong’ because their houses were washed out by the flash floods.
Despite the prohibition, donees still yielded the houses to other parties, Balanay said.
He added that have been units that have “extensions’ on the houses, with several of them “much bigger” than the original units.
He said some units were bought by other parties for as much as P100,000.
Balanay posited that poverty may have prodded the beneficiaries to sell the houses but maintained that there are legal processes to be followed.
The city, to note, has scheduled the padlocking and demolition on April 2.
Balanay said they are anticipating resistance from the villagers. He added they have prepared for any eventuality.
Earlier, Teo Bacung, chair of the city’s Task Force Demolition with Task Force Kamagong have been tasked to implement the demolition. Task Force Kamagong is a composite team of military and police.
Meanwhile, Sta. Elena Barangay Chair Ruperto Alicaway said he hopes the demolition will be violent as “we do not just immediately engage in war.”
There have been tarpaulins hung in various areas in the settlement that reminded beneficiaries not to sell their housing unit but even then some units were still sold to other parties, Alicaway lamented.
Alicaway said he will be attending the conference tomorrow.