[Hpn] 500 Squatters Ordered To Vacate Housing Site

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Fri, 11 Feb 2005 16:58:32 -0500


500 squatters ordered to vacate housing site

by Cristina C. Birondo
February 12, 2005

Around 500 illegal occupants of a 32-hectare lot within the Central Command
compound in barangay Apas, declared as a socialized housing site by
President Arroyo in June 2003, are subjects of a notice to vacate issued by
the Cebu City government.

In a press conference yesterday morning, acting city administrator Francisco
"Bimbo" Fernandez together with representatives from the National Housing
Authority and the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor clarified that
only those who are original occupants of the said property are considered
qualified applicants for "onsite relocation".

Of the 500 illegal occupants, 114 were already given notices to vacate and
another 193 will be given anytime soon. The recipients of these notices have
15 days upon receipt to voluntarily move out.

Fernandez warned only those who voluntarily vacate will be accorded with the
chance to apply for the socialized housing program.

Further, Fernandez emphasized that the 1,200 original occupants will still
undergo a selection procedure to determine if they qualify to become
beneficiaries of this project.

Based on a survey conducted before 2001, there were only 1,200 occupants on
said property who are members of the city-accredited Alliance of Barangay
Apas Community Association, but that an additional 500 informal settlers
came to occupy the vacant lots after the presidential proclamation was made.

As such, NHA and PCUP work in close coordination with the city government to
weed out illegal occupants from said property so that only qualified urban
poor beneficiaries will be granted certificates of land title.

Copyright 2004 by The Freeman. All Rights Reserved.