Families along estero de San Miguel beneficiaries of housing project

February 14, 2013 11:30 pm 

By Samuel F. Martin

MANILA, Feb. 14 — At least 120 families currently living in shanties along the Estero de San Miguel in Manila will be the first beneficiaries of housing project, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas on Thursday said as he led the groundbreaking rites in Manila.

Roxas said unlike previous relocation efforts for informal settlers along the tributaries of Manila Bay, the new initiative, formally called the Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Legarda Housing Project, will resettle the residents in nearby sites to prevent displacement from their sources of livelihood and from where their children attend school.

The housing project consists of several medium rise buildings to be constructed in two sites in Manila. The first is in Barangay 412 Zone 42 in Sampaloc and another at the corner of J.P. Laurel and Legarda Streets in San Miguel. The buildings will cover a total land area of about 3,000 square meters.

“Ang programang ito ay para sa mga kababayan natin na nakatira sa tinatawag na danger areas. Dito sila nakatira malapit na malapit sa estero kung saan kapag mataas ang tubig dahil sa walang hintong pag-ulan ay nalalagay sila sa alanganin,” Roxas said in his statement.

Instead of relocating informal settlers outside Metro Manila, Roxas said President Benigno Aquino 3rd has directed government agencies to make sure that, as much as possible settlers are not transferred far from where they used to live.

“Kaya itong near-site o onsite na relocation ang nakitang solusyon. Hindi na sila lalayo dito sa kanilang tinitirhang estero subalit mabibigyan sila ng mas matibay at mas permanenteng paglalagyan,” he explained.

Livelihood is a prime consideration in the near-site relocation because, on average, the Estero de San Miguel residents earn about P5,000 to P10,000 monthly from selling newspapers, maintaining small sari-sari stores, or taking on odd jobs near their residence.

The average cost of constructing one housing unit is about P400,000. Once completed, beneficiary families will be able to live in 16 square meter housing units.

“Gabi-gabi, maaari kayong matulog nang mahimbing dahil may katiyakan na ang inyong tinitirhan. Ang layunin ng pamahalaan na mawalan na kayo ng pangamba at takot mula sa demolisyon ay nahanapan na ng solusyon,” Roxas assured the beneficiaries.

Roxas stressed that President Aquino has ordered the release of a P10 billion fund every year for the housing and relocation program for informal settler families, prioritizing endangered families who live on or along hazardous zones such as esteros and waterways that flood during the onset of the typhoon season. (PNA)

DSP/SM/ABB

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