The city government has allowed settlers at the Santa Lucia environmental estate to stay until the end of the current school year before their houses are demolished to pave way for government projects.
City administrator Arnel Pedrosa said they postponed the planned demolition Monday upon the appeal made by the affected residents addressed to Mayor Lucilo Bayron. He said the city government decided to give the settlers until April to voluntary demolish their houses and leave.
“The mayor has acceded to their request and they have until the end of the school year to do that (self-demolition),” Pedrosa, said.
Last week, the city government reminded the 33 families living inside the environmental estate that the one-month extension would end and they need to vacate the area before March 12. The affected families requested yet again another extension to allow their children to finish their schooling.
Pedrosa, however, added that the dismantling of newly-built structures that still had no occupants will continue, except for a barangay hall built by local officials and a church.
“Demolition will proceed with regard to structures which are not occupied,” he added.
The 1,072-hectare property was declared as an environmental estate through Presidential Decree 718 by former President Fidel Ramos. Under the proclamation, the city government is tasked to primarily develop it for ecotourism and commercial enterprises purposes.
Pedrosa said the environmental estate will give rise to the construction of “sustainable government projects” in the future.