(Updated 9:33 p.m., 14 August 2012) Thousands of informal settler families in Metro Manila who were displaced by the recent floods will be relocated within the week, Vice President Jejomar Binay said Tuesday.
In a statement released Tuesday, Binay said most of the 5,363 informal settler families being housed in NCR evacuation centers can be relocated to available resettlement areas pending the construction of medium-rise buildings (MRB) and permanent new settlements.
"While the MRBs are still to be constructed, the most viable option for relocating these families would be to use the available resettlement sites on a temporary basis," he said.
Binay said the informal settlers who will be relocated to the said areas were identified by the National Housing Authority (NHA).
Among them are: 150 families in Litex in Quezon City; 2,400 in Manggahan, Pasig; 1,500 in Navotas; 970 in Manila (Happyland, Tondo, Nagtahan, and Isla Puting Bato); 200 in Malabon; 75 in San Juan; and 68 in Mandaluyong.
But the vice president said the NHA told him that they have yet to conduct a headcount of the affected informal settlers in Marikina.
Binay said the families will be relocated to resettlement units in Towerville 6 and San Jose in Gaya-gaya, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; Bocaue; Tanay; Southville 8b Phases 3 and 4; and Southville 9 in Baras, Rizal.
He said the NHA has also transferred 979 families to available units in higher areas within the Kasiglahan Village in Rodriguez, Rizal.
“I have directed the NHA to determine whether or not to totally abandon the site. If it is still suitable for residential purposes, we need to come up with measures to mitigate flooding in the area,” he said.
Meanwhile, anti-poverty organization Oxfam reacted to the government's relocation plan and though they laud the plan, "government should ensure that the relocation process respects and promotes the rights of the residents affected, are done in a voluntary manner, and following international humanitarian standards."
“Communities should be consulted and be part of dialogues with government agencies, and the relocation areas should have basic services in place, with access to livelihood options first, ” said Oxfam Spokesperson and Humanitarian Programme Coordinator Paul del Rosario. — BM/DVM, GMA News