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10 NHA projects being readied as relocation for 6k informal settler families in NCR waterways

June 21, 2013 11:07am
(Updated 12:17 p.m.) At least 10 housing projects are now in progress to accommodate some 6,426 informal settler families in danger areas in Metro Manila, Vice President and housing czar Jejomar Binay said Thursday.
Binay, also chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), said the 6,426 housing units worth P3.2 billion "will be used in relocating ISFs currently living in danger zones.”
In a post on his Facebook account, he said the projects include:
  • Smokey Mountain Development Project
  • Tala 2 Medium Rise Building and Camarin housing projects in Caloocan City
  • Pleasant Hills in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan
  • Gulayan and Tanglaw in Navotas
  • Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Depot in Pasig City
  • National Government Center housing project in Quezon City
  • Disiplina Village 2 in Valenzuela City
  • Navotas Housing Project.
He said the funding for the 10 housing projects is part of the P50 billion allotted by President Benigno Aquino III for relocating some 100,000 ISFs living in danger areas.
“The rest of the affected ISFs will be relocated in Balagtas, Bocaue and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan and Trece Martirez, Cavite,” he added.
Priority waterways
Binay said the 10 housing projects will be part of the housing relocation program for some 18,000 ISFs in six priority waterways in Metro Manila. These waterways were identified by the NHA for clearing this year.
He noted 55 percent of the ISFs identified by NHA are in Quezon City and Manila.
Citing data from local government units in 2011, he said 31,275 ISFs or 30 percent of families are living in danger zones in Quezon City.
Some 26,029 families or 25 percent of families, on the other hand, are in Manila.
Sanctions vs local officials
Binay backed suggestions to impose sanctions on local government officials, especially barangay chairpersons, who let ISFs continue to live in danger zones.
He noted some local officials would allow ISFs to return to these areas even after they were relocated.
“(The ISFs) would not return if there is no negligence in the part of local officials, especially the barangay captains. That is why when I was still mayor I told my barangay captains they are the ones at fault if problems (involving ISFs) occur," he said.
“They (ISFs) return one at a time. Sometimes they arrive using pushcarts," he added.

But in an interview on GMA News TV's "News to Go," Binay clarified that he is not blaming local government officials, such as those who hold barangay-level posts, for ISFs who continue to return to danger areas.
However, he did mention that barangay officials should be responsible in ensuring ISFs do not return to danger areas even after they have been relocated.
"Hindi naman po sa sinisisi no. Ito naman ho ay sa diretsong usapan," Binay said, noting that when he was still mayor of Makati City, he would tell barangay officials to be on top of relocation issues.
"'Pag iyong mga nalikas na at tapos meron na naman tayong mga informal settlers doon sa mga inalisan, e mukhang di ho yata binantayan ng mga barangay officials. Ang may primary responsibility po dyan ay mga barangay officials," he said.
Binay reiterated that the government only has the welfare of the ISFs in mind.
"Sana maunawaan lamang ho ng mga inililikas na yung hong mga buhay din nila ang nakataya diyan," he said. "Gusto ko lamang pong siguraduhin sa mga ililikas, hindi ho kayo ililikas nang wala kayong paglilipatan." 
Danger zones
Earlier, the NHA identified these waterways as danger zones:
  • Pasig River stretching from Manila, Mandaluyong, Makati and Pasig
  • San Juan River, covering Manila, Mandaluyong, San Juan, and Quezon City
  • Tullahan River spanning Quezon City, Caloocan, Malabon, and Valenzuela
  • Manggahan Floodway in Pasig
  • Maricaban Creek in Pasay, Makati, and Taguig
  • Tripa de Gallina covering Makati and Pasay.
“These are some of the biggest waterways in Metro Manila that we consider danger zones,” Binay said.
Binay added the NHA will also relocate around 1,500 ISFs residing along Estero de Sunog Apog and Estero de Maypajo in Manila. — with Gian C. Geronimo/KG/RSJ, GMA News
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