by Cheneen R. Capon and Marla L. Arreza – AdDU Student Trainee
Vol. 7 Issue 84 | Friday-Saturday, July 11-12, 2014 | Edge Davao
Three months after the April 4 fire incident, only 40 percent of the more than 1, 860 families displaced after the devastating fire incident in Isla Verde are resettled back to their former residential areas.
“Most of the affected residents are still temporary housed in evacuation centers at the gymnasiums at barangays Aquino, Duterte, 37-C, 5-A, and Mini Forrest. Some of them are renting their own place somewhere in the city,” said city information officer Leomides Villareal.
In an interview last Monday, Villareal said that issues surrounding the reconstruction of the area and the clash of beliefs among the affected residents have delayed the resettlement process.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte has ordered that construction of roads should be done first before the resettlement can be made. Also, sanitation, drainage and water connections must be restored as well.
City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) officer-in-charge Marcelino P. Escalada Jr. said in an interview that the rehabilitation of Isla Verde will start on August after the bidding for the possible contactor scheduled to happen this month.
“The master plan for road network and foot bridge is already approved while a budget amounting P40 million has been allotted,” he said.
Escalada said that P30 million of the budget will be used for the construction of 8-meter road network and 6-meter lateral road in the area while the remaining P10 million will be used for the construction of foot bridges.
Villareal mentioned that one of the main problems is the community itself as the residents of Isla Verde insist to live within their group: Muslims, Christians, Badjaos and other sub-groupings.
Until these different sectors decide to co-exist in the community, resettlement would be difficult for the local government to implement, he added.