City govt defers demolition of squatters in Pasonanca PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 November 2014 11:47

The Committee against Squatting Syndicate and Professional Squatters of the City Housing Board headed by Housing and Homesite Regulation Officer Rodrigo Pagotaisidro has decided to defer the demolition of 62 houses illegally built on a government property in Sitio Luyahan, Barangay Pasonanca, this city.

Pagotaisidro, who also heads the Housing and Land Management Division of the City Mayor’s Office, said the clearing operation was supposed to take place Monday, Nov. 10, but had to be postponed until after the Yuletide season, following the request of the Barangay Council of Pasonanca and upon petition of the affected families.

He said the decision to demolish the illegal structures at CCC Villa Hermosa Housing Project Phase 1-C at Sitio Luyahan, Pasonanca came after series of consultations with the affected families, the barangay officials and even with members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Pagotaisidro narrated that on Feb. 4, this year an inspection of the area was conducted. At the time, there were only 41 illegally built houses. On Feb. 20, notices to vacate were issued to the individual families.

On Feb. 24, however, the affected families sought the intervention of the City Council, which eventually passed a resolution asking the Housing Board to extend or move the demolition. The families then signed affidavits to voluntarily vacate the area on or before May.

“But it did not happen,” Pagotaisidro lamented. Instead, the families formed themselves into an association and requested the city government that the property they occupied be awarded to them.

Pagotaisidro, however, denied such request, stressing that the lot had already been awarded to the Bendimil Construction for a socialized housing project as part of Phase 1-C of the adjacent CCC Villa Hermosa Housing Project. Hence, it cannot be awarded anymore to the illegal occupants.

On June 18, the area was inspected and surveyed to determine whether or not the affected houses were indeed constructed on the government property. This time the number of illegal structures or houses had ballooned to 100.

On July 2, the Housing Board convened to discuss the matter and on July 11 it issued again issued notices to the affected families for them to voluntarily leave the area.

On July 28, letters were received, but the demolition was carried out just the same on Aug. 19-22 in coordination with the barangay council. But what was demolished were only the uninhabited houses, leaving the 62 inhabited houses untouched as the families concerned had promised to vacate voluntarily, only to find out that they sought again the City Council’s intervention.

Pagotaisidro said all remedies have been exhausted, clearing operation was extended many times, and courtesies were given to the families and the local legislative body. Thus, the final clearing operation was scheduled Monday until the Barangay Council of Pasonanca had requested anew extension.

The affected families were to execute individual affidavit to voluntarily vacate the area by first week of January 2015, otherwise the demolition will push through.

According to Pagotaisidro, there is an existing law that prohibits demolition of squatters during the Christmas season. Hence, the demolition of squatters in Luyahan, Pasonanca was deferred until after the Christmas period.— Vic Larato