Informal settlers composed of 40 households near the San Jose de Buenavista port are seeking assistance from the Antique provincial government to prevent them from being evicted from the area.

Antique Provincial Board Member Pio Jessielito Sumande, in an interview Tuesday, said a Writ of Execution penned by Presiding Judge Gemma Bordon Tady of the Sixth Judicial Region Municipal Trial Court in San Jose de Buenavista last Dec. 17, 2019, ordered them to vacate the area for being unlawful detainers.

Sumande assisted the informal settlers in seeking help from the provincial government.

“The informal settlers had been occupying the lot for more than 50 years and so they are requesting the provincial government to assist them to buy the lot,” he said.

He said the informal settlers, mostly fishermen or cargo handlers, are residing in the 4,000-square meter lot owned by Mary Ann Sibya.

He added the informal settlers could not afford the PHP6,000-per square meter price asked by the lot owner, prompting them to ask the help of the government through its housing program.

“The informal settlers also had asked for assistance from the San Jose de Buenavista local government unit to which Mayor Elmer Untaran has vowed to help,” he said.

He added that hopefully, with the help of the provincial government and the San Jose de Buenavista local government unit, they could raise the needed amount for the lot.

He also said whatever amount they could give them, they will use it as advance payment to the lot owner while they will pay the remaining amount through a lending institution, which they are negotiating with. (PNA)