Destroy fence blocking access to poor— Rama

Posted on November 1, 2012


Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday ordered the owner of a privately-owned lot to destroy the fence, blocking more than half of the access road of an urban poor community in two sitios in barangay Lahug.

Rama said he gave the order to Mario Espinoza, the owner of the lot, not only to appease the 50 families in sitios Sta. Catalina and San Vicente but also to prevent any incidents of fire outbreaks from happening.

Rama said he visited the area at 11:30 p.m. last Tuesday and saw for himself that the access of sitio residents to the main road was barely passable for two persons passing the area at the same time because of the presence of the fence.

“Maglisud kag agi ug mag sugat na ang duha ka taw,” he said. “Kuyaw kaayo ug ma sunogan ang lugar.”

While in the area, he called for the deployment of a fire truck, ambulance and police truck there in anticipation of any untoward incidents.

The Office of the Building Officials (OBO) issued on Aug. 1 a fencing permit for the 239 sq. meter lot owned by Espinoza.

Rama called Espinoza who came to city hall with his lawyer for a meeting with Rama yesterday morning.

Also in the meeting with Lahug barangay officials were city engineer and building official Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez and city planning and development officer Alipio Bacalso.

“The fencing was made with the city’s approval only to find out that will bring imminent danger kay ug naay sunog walay lain maagi an ang mga tawo,” he said.

Rama asked Enriquez who also agreed to get rid of his fence within the day even if this was permitted by the city.

“This may be a private property but the owner has to yield because of the prejudice (that the fence) is causing to many,” he said.

Rama said if Espinoza doesn’t demolish the fence as agreed, the city government will do it for him.
“That has to be removed otherwise ang tag iya will have to take responsibility ug naay mahitabo sa lugar,” he said.

After Enriquez demolishes his fence, Rama said, he will also be having a separate meeting with city legal officer Joseph Bernadez, Enriquez and Bacalso to plan a possible expansion of the community road in sitios Sta. Catalina and San Vicente.

Rama said it was cheaper for the city to spend on lot expropriation for road right of way instead of allocating for relief and material assistance in case of the occurrence of fire.

The area was already affected by a big fire in the early 2000. /Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac

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