Residents along Talomo river voluntarily demolished their structures

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DAVAO CITY — It’s done! says Cristino Paril, one of the 26 informal settlers in Purok 34, Taal in Bangkal who heeded the call of the city government of Davao City government to voluntarily demolish structures built on the Talomo River embankment, mostly extensions of their houses. 

Cristino, who collects scrap to fend for his family live along the riverbank for two decades with his three children offered no regret when asked why he needs to voluntarily demolish his structure.

“Pagsugod pa lang kabalo man ko nga dili amo ang yuta, maong bisan og hadlok mopuyo sa daplin sa sapa, amo na lang gi-agwanta kay wala man mi kwarta ikapalit og among kapuy-an. Karon nga gipahawa mi, akong giguba akong balay, para man sab ni sa among kaayohan kay og motaas ang tubig wala gayud mi tulog kay basin maanod mi apil sa tubig,” he told Newsline.ph in an interview.

(From the start we know this land do not belong to us, though it is dangerous to live here, we endured because we do not have money to buy a property where we can live, now that we are asked to vacate, I demolished my house because it is also beneficial to us, every time the water (level) gets high, we could no longer sleep for fear of getting flushed by flooding water.)

Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) Head Angel Sumagaysay said that families living along the riverbank demolished the structures after dialogue was conducted to explain the risks of living along the river dikes.

“It was a peaceful activity and there was no coercion or whatsoever. We just had a talk with the barangay captains and purok leaders and then the day after, they commenced with the self-demolition,” he said. 

A total of 26 settlers have voluntarily demolished their structures which are common extensions of their existing structures that they have made as sala, kitchen, and toilets. 

Sumagaysay also said that the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) will conduct an initial listing of the settlers to be given food assistance. 

The city government has been strongly encouraging families and individuals living along rivers, levees or dikes, and other danger zones to voluntarily dismantle their homes and vacate these areas for their safety, especially during intermittent weather. 

The local government expressed its gratitude for the willingness of the residents to cooperate with the authorities on a matter that involves the safety of their families and the entire community.

“We extend our appreciation and gratitude to all the people, especially the employees of the City Government who live within the proximity of these settlers, who aided in making the settlers understand our intentions and spearheaded the self demolition in these areas which started last Friday and went on through the weekend,” Sumagaysay said. –Newsline.ph with CIO report

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