MAHINOG Mayor Alex R. Jajalla of Camiguin Province said the local government unit is still extending its open arms to Mantigue residents who wish to avail of the relocation package offered by the government for them to finally vacate the island and relocate to the mainland.
“In order to avoid further court proceedings, our hands are still reaching out to residents who until now refuse to vacate the island to avail the financial assistance offered by the government,” said Mayor Jajalla during an interview after a pre-trial hearing today, Nov. 27, at the town’s municipal trial court.
The social assistance package include free 100 sq.m. lot at the Benoni resettlement site; P1,000 worth of grocery items; cash assistance amounting to P5,000, or P10,000 for those who opt to relocate outside the relocation site; free toilet bowl; free demolition and delivery of salvaged materials and personal belongings from Mantigue to relocation site; five to 10 days free carpenter to build their house; and employment assistance, among others.
Until now, there are still 24 families out of 42 who still refuse to leave the island who are facing charges of unlawful occupation in Mantigue Island declared as forestland.
“We still keep our option open to any workable settlement that may be reached by both parties but we maintain our position that they should leave the island once and for all,” the mayor said.
The local government unit is implementing a rehabilitation plan in the 4.4-hectare Mantigue Island located in San Roque, in the municipality of Mahinog.
Part of the plan is to relocate all the people living in Mantigue to save the island from further damage and restore its natural wealth and beauty. (Homer R. Jajalla, Mahinog Information Office/PIA-Camiguin i-Net)