In a letter dated May 1, 2023 coursed through Councilor Nestor Archival, the Sta. Teresita-Osmeña Mausoleum Neighborhood Association told Garcia that their community has 200 individuals who would be directly affected by the heritage park planned in the area.
At least 85 of the 200 appealed that they remain in Barangay Tejero instead of being transferred to other barangays where the city’s social housing projects are located.
They are asking to be situated along the sides of the entrance of Dona Pepang or behind the cemetery itself.
“Pwede ba nga mo-set back or i-reblocking lang kami bisan tag 20 square meters lang matag household ug magbayad lang kami matag bulan kung pila man gani ang balor sa luna nga inyohang i-reblock,” their appeal read.
(Can we ask to be moved, or a reblocking to be implemented? Even if we are given just 20 square meters per household and we pay rent monthly for the cost of the lot they will reblock.)
According to data from the association, there are 24 structures with 52 families living in the area.
The residents, who mostly work near the cemetery, said they are unable to relocate because they are still suffering from the economic impact of the pandemic, their stacking debts, and the rising prices of commodities.
Some 62 kids will also be affected by the relocation and parents are concerned that their education may be affected.
Meanwhile, the City Government still targets the transformation of Doña Pepang into a heritage park by June 12, 2023, or Independence Day.
City Administrator Colin Rosell said last May 15 that he is yet to update who is assigned to the project.
“Whatever will happen, if we need help to meet the target, we will make sure that things will be substantially delivered if not completed,” Rosell said.
Rosell added that the City Government is doing the necessary steps and actions in realizing the project, since in the end, it will be beneficial to the people of Cebu City.