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Mayors raise concern about funds

| by: Lianne Llesol

Lack of funds is the current primary concern of the local government units in North Cebu, particularly those affected by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

For instance, while mayors of the affected towns have already identified suitable lots for relocation, they cannot proceed with the purchase because of insufficient funding.

Also, Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III stressed during an interview that while the province is willing to set aside funds for the purchase of relocation sites, the Commission of Audit (COA) requires land titles as support document towards purchasing the land.
Moreover, town mayors revealed that the available lots have only tax declarations, not land titles.

On this matter, the Governor said “we hope to ask the help of Senator Lacson in convincing COA to allow tax declarations instead.”

Other issues raised were the legal consequences of land purchasing, appraisal of relocation sites, unclear guidelines on the “no-dwelling zone” policy, and the challenge in selecting beneficiaries.

In the meantime, the mayors created a resolution to be submitted to the national government stressing the urgency of buying lands for relocation sites as well as resolve all the other issues raised.

All these surfaced during the roundtable discussion last Friday in Crown Regency Hotel, Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City. It was facilitated by the provincial government’s Task Force (TF) Paglig-on and the protection cluster.

According to Baltz Tribunalo, TF Paglig-on head, the discussion served as a readiness for addressing possible problems related to shelter and social protection. Mayors from Sogod, Sta. Fe, Tabogon, Madridejos, San Francisco, San Remegio, Camotes, Poro, Pilar, Daanbantayan, Bantayan Island, Borbon attended the discussion.

Also present were the UN Commission on Humanitarian Affairs, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Action Aid, and other local and international non-government organizations.