The Island Garden City of Samal city government will be relocating some 271 families consisting of about 1,000 individuals from the shoreline of the Barangay Miranda in Babak District “hopefully before the end of this year.”

City housing officer Ernesto Tundaan said that a 3-hectare relocation area situated in neighboring Barangay Tambo is being prepared by City Mayor Aniano Antalan for the coastal families affected by his drive to relocate and resettle informal settlements in the island’s shorelines.

“It’s clear in the law that shorelines are considered danger areas, and what’s needed is just an administrative order,” Tundaan said.

“We are only making demolition once we have prepared relocation and resettlement area,” he added.

Antalan has been getting flak for this drive from an anti-demolition group who alleged that he is uprooting coastal communities for the shorelines to be vacated and cornered bv rich people and real estate developers who would turn convert it as commercial beach resorts.

Tundaan belied the charge of the anti-demolition group he would not name, saying that the mayor is just implementing what is said by law and to relocate informal settlers in shorelines to safer grounds.

The mayor is concentrating relocating shoreline settlers in Babak, where development has been rapid since the recent years, he said.

Shorelines around the island are still considered lush, unpolluted beach areas trekked on by domestic and foreign tourists especially during weekends when there is heavy traffic of incoming weekend beach goers.

Informal settlements in the island’s  shorelines are concentrated in Miranda and Villarica areas in Babak District and in the poblacion of Peñaplata district. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

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