Personnel from the Bacolod City Legal Office’s enforcement team destroy illegal structures built by informal settlers on the banks of Lupit River in Barangay Singcang-Airport, Bacolod City on July 11, 2018 to give way to a bridge widening project. ARCHIE REY ALIPALO/PN

BACOLOD City – A total of 25 houses of informal settlers on the banks of Lupit River in Barangay Singcang-Airport were demolished yesterday.

Personnel from the City Legal Office’s (CLO) enforcement team destroyed the illegal structures after a demolition order dated June 20 was issued.

CLO’s Attorney III Reuben Mikhail Sabig requested the Bacolod City Police Office to maintain peace and order during the demolition.

The houses are built on a “danger zone,” according to City Assistant Engineer Ephraim Hechanova.

Hechanova said the CLO ordered the demolition in view of a bridge widening project in the area.

Before the demolition, a clearance from the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor was secured, he added.

Hechanova said they have reminded the informal settlers of the demolition “several times” and told them to apply for relocation at the Bacolod Housing Authority.

The city government had planned to relocate the displaced informal settlers to the Arao Relocation Site in Barangay Vista Alegre.

However, most of the settlers only passed their application recently, said Hechanova.

Donato Aguda, one of the displaced residents, said the Bacolod Housing Authority has yet to approve his application.

Aguda said his family has nowhere to transfer yet./PN

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