Cebu governor threatens to evict children’s hospital, but offers compromise

Ryan Macasero

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Cebu governor threatens to evict children’s hospital, but offers compromise

EVERSLEY SANITARIUM. Families of patients in Eversley Sanitarium in Mandaue City, Cebu.

Eversley Child Sanitarium Facebook page

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia says the children's hospital and the rehabilitation center can stay if they recognize the province's right to the property

CEBU, Philippines – Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia sent last September 8 a 15-day notice-to-vacate to the occupants of the Mandaue City property where the Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital is situated because the lot is owned by the province.

She told reporters in a press conference on Thursday, September 22, that the lot is owned by the provincial government.

Aside from the government hospital operated by the Department of Health, also occupying the contested real estate property situated in Jagobiao, Mandaue City is a women’s drug rehabilitation center and a number of informal settlers.

Garcia said the property was donated to the province in the 1930s by the Archdiocese of Cebu and that she had all of the donation documents and titles to prove it. 

However, she said the provincial government would not evict the tenants for as long as they recognized the province as the rightful owners of the property.

“We are not asking you [anymore] to leave the area…just don’t twist the issue. Sign the usufruct agreement under DOH, and we will have no problem at all. For as long as you are not recognized by the Cebu province, then I will have to assert our ownership,” Garcia said in Cebuano.

“The right of the province over the property includes renumeration if you are occupying it. But I haven’t even required you to pay rent because you serve the people in the north. I am just saying let’s sign a deed of usufruct,” the Cebu governor said.

The usufruct agreement would allow the occupants to use the property as long as they recognize the ownership of the province.

“If you insist that the property is not ours, what can you show that it is yours?” Garcia added. 

The hospital management asserts that the property is owned by the national government and declined to vacate the property.

As for families who have put their homes on the property, Garcia said they would not be evicted and protected by housing laws. 

Aside from legitimizing the province’s ownership of the property, the governor is not seeking to develop the lot for any other purpose. 

Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes previously said that he would help untangle the ownership squabble of the lot, but hinted that the property was owned by the national government. 

“We will look into this further as the property subject to the province’s demand letter is also claimed by the national government. In fact tax declarations are under the name of the Republic of the Philippines,” Cortes said on Wednesday, September 21.  –

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Nobuhiko Matsunaka


Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at