(Metro News) QC cited for addressing informal settlers’ problem

February 19, 2012 11:26 am 

MANILA, Feb. 18 — Quezon City’s initiative to address the problem of housing and informal settlements has gained recognition and cash reward from the National Drive Against Professional Squatters and Squatting Syndicates (NDAPSSS) chaired by Vice President Jejomar Binay.

For its initiative in the implementation of Republic Act No. 7279, otherwise known as the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) of 1992, and Executive Order 153 or the national drive to suppress and eradicate professional squatting and squatting syndicates, the city government was presented with a cash award of P50,000 and a plaque of recognition for effective leadership and unwavering commitment in eradicating professional squatters and squatting syndicates in the city.

Earlier, the Vice President also credited the city government for initiating public-private partnership for building pro-poor housing communities in the city during the inauguration of QC’s second major housing project, Bistekville 2, at Zabarte Road, Barangay Kaligayahan, Novaliches.

Mayor Herbert Bautista led city officials in receiving QC’s new award during a simple ceremony at last Monday’s flag-raising rites at QC Hall.

In his speech, the mayor reiterated that the city government continues to strictly enforce all laws to contain the proliferation of professional squatters and squatting syndicates which, he said, if left uncontrolled, could create more problems that could derail the city government’s efforts to bring the benefits of economic progress to the urban poor.

Having been considered by the NDAPSSS as its most effective partner in the drive against professional squatters, QC was also credited for continuously conducting dialogues and seminars with homeowners’ and community associations which, to date, has resulted in the dramatic increase in the collection rate of the Community Mortgage Program and direct selling scheme of the city.

In 2011, the QC Urban Poor Affairs Office, in partnership with the NDAPSSS, conducted over 70 local seminars and community dialogues.

According to UPAO head Ramon Asprer, dialogues and seminars are imperative to strengthen the city’s ongoing efforts to prevent professional squatters and squatting syndicates from building new colonies in open spaces and small private properties, particularly in subdivisions in Quezon City .

To date, there is a continuing effort from Bautista to adopt a meaningful development plan to provide more livable communities for QC residents, especially informal settlers living in danger areas such as sidewalks, roadways, waterways, under transmission lines and on water pipelines.

“The problem of poverty and informal settlements in Quezon City is huge. But, we can help make this challenge manageable though the pathways of collaboration and teamwork among ourselves,” the mayor said.

By the records of the QC Urban Poor Affairs Office, informal settlers constitute 42 percent of QC’s total population. (PNA) scs/JCA

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