RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM. Naga City, Cebu Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong (center) listens to the officials from the National Housing Authority during their coordination meeting last October 2018 for the resettlement projects intended for the victims of landslide in Barangay Tinaan, Naga City, as other national government agency officials listen. (Photo by John Rey Saavedra)
CEBU CITY -- The city government of Naga, Cebu and the National Housing Authority (NHA) will construct 246 new houses for families displaced by a landslide in Barangay Tinaan in September last year, City Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong said Friday.
The city government is set to fund 54 housing units in Barangay Tinaan and will start building them ahead of the 192 housing units to be constructed by the NHA on the Balili property in the coastal area of Tinaan, Chiong said.
She said she already signed the building plan submitted by the NHA.
Chiong said the houses from both the city and the NHA will be given to the landslide victims for free, with each unit having a 50-square-meter lot area and 26-square-meter floor area.
However, the Environmental Management Bureau 7 (Central Visayas), headed by engineer William Cuñado, is conducting a geo-hazard assessment in Tinaan to “make sure it is safe” for a new housing area for the landslide victims, she added.
The province of Cebu donated 2.1 hectares of the Balili property for the NHA housing area.
Some evacuees have reportedly refused the offer to relocate to the Balili property due to fear of storm surge as it is located near the Tinaan shoreline.
“Last year, we were supposed to relocate around 444 families situated near the critical zone,” Chiong said in a radio interview, noting that 154 evacuees prefer to get humanitarian assistance rather than receive a new house from the government.
The 154 families opted to look for their own relocation site somewhere in the neighboring towns of Minglanilla and San Fernando.
On Sept. 20, 2018, a landslide hit Barangay Tinaan, where a private mining firm had quarry operations. It killed at least 78 residents, and injured 18, while five more were declared missing.
Aside from Tinaan, the neighboring villages of Naalad, Mainit, Pangdan, and Cabungahan were also declared under state of calamity due to the incident that was blamed on heavy rainfall and the quarry operation in the area. (PNA)