Government urged to provide on-site resettlement for squatters
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - January 31, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The government should have an on-site resettlement program for Metro Manila’s informal settler families (ISFs) , Sen. Francis Escudero said yesterday.

Since around 70 percent of the estimated 3,000 hectares occupied by ISFs are owned by the state, Escudero, who is running for vice president, said the government could build medium-rise residential buildings on these lands for the same families.

He said if a four-story condominium can be built to house these families, it would free up 2,200 hectares of land that can be used for additional roads.

On-site resettlement could address the housing problem of the poor not only in Metro Manila but also in other urban centers around the country, where residents seeking employment gravitate, Escudero said.

“Through on-site resettlement, you will be able to upgrade and rehabilitate blighted slum urban areas and at the same time minimize displacement of dwellers in these areas, where they have enough access to basic social services and livelihood,” he said.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority placed the number of informal settlers living in the National Capital Region at 2.8 million as of 2010, or about 556,526 families.

In 2013, the Department of the Interior and Local Government identified some 104,000 families residing in areas considered as danger zones, such as railroad tracks, garbage dumps, canals, rivers and creeks.

 The senator noted that on-site development could be costly, but the government is capable of implementing the project given the huge savings it incurred over the past five years due to public underspending.

“The government has saved P700 billion since 2011. It is easy to come up with reasons not to do this, but it would be just as easy to find a way if we are determined,” Escudero said.

 

ACIRC AREAS DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ESCUDERO FAMILIES FRANCIS ESCUDERO GOVERNMENT METRO MANILA METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION SITE
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