The city legislature approved a resolution sponsored by Councilor Alvin Dizon asking the mayor to negotiate a rental agreement with occupants of the Citi Center Complex in barangay Kamagayan, instead of evicting them.
The mayor isn’t happy about being told to do this after telling illegal occupants to vacate the downtown center.
The City Councils said the planned eviction was contrary to Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Housing Development Act (UDHA) which discourages eviction without relocation.
Dizon said even City Hall’s plans to use the site for socialized housing project for City Hall employees can’t be used as a reason for demolition.
Dizon said the city government not yet ready to implement the project because it has yet to submit a loan application to the Home Development Mortgage Fund for financing. .
In the meantime, the Citi Center occupants must be properly treated and the rights of the occupants respected, the resoltuion said.
Mayor Rama called the resolution “misplaced” saying he does not need to ask for such authority from the City Council.
“I did not ask for that negotiation. I have to stand for the mayor’s office and I’d like to remind Alvin Dizon that there is a pending case unless he is lawyering for the occupants,” the mayor said.
The occupants of the Citi Center, a former privately owned wet market, seized by the City Hall over tax debts have asked the court to stop the City Hall from evicting them. /Edison A. delos Angeles, Correspondent