22 houses for homeless, displaced families soon to rise in Kidapawan 

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 23 June) — At least 322 additional housing units for homeless and displaced families will be constructed here by the city government.

City legal officer Christopher Cabilen on Friday led a team conducting a relocation survey in Purok 8, Barangay Sudapin. The team was composed of the project contractor, city engineer, planning and development officer, and representatives from the National Housing Authority (NHA).

Cabilen said the five-hectare lot intended for the 34-million peso Resettlement Housing Project Phase 4 of the city government was purchased by the previous administration years ago but was put on hold because of problems on ownership and alleged encroachment.

In 2013, the city government decided to push through with the project but was again stalled because of some legal issues attached to it.

Cabilen said the city government is pushing through with the project after the Commission on Audit (COA) inquired about its status.

During the ocular visit, a group of protesters from the Sibug clan arrived at the site to question the process, claiming they own the land.

Jennifer Sibug, a former employee at the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), said the city government, despite its knowledge that the lot ownership was “in question,” purchased it in 2010.

“We already filed cases at a local court here.  These cases are still pending until now,” said Sibug.

Sibug also questioned the presence at the site of police personnel and members of the Special Weapons and Tactics of the Kidapawan City police.

“Why would they bring these policemen in the area?  We did not intend to harass them,” she asked.

Cabilen maintained that “as long as there is no court order preventing us from developing the lot, we will continue with the project,” he said, adding, “what we only aim is to give 300 plus homeless families in the city the opportunity to own a house.” (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)