The Mandaue City informal settlers' relocation site

AS IT APPEARS - Lorenzo Paradiang Jr. -

Without a livable house as a family home for the poor family is the biggest headache!

 Come God’s blessings, Mandaue City’s 6.5 hectares relocation site in Paknaan for informal settlers along Mahiga and Tipolo Creeks, and other flood-prone areas could make the housing problem a dilemma of the past! And it is the best, ideal and decent homes hereabouts, at last, for the homeless poor, with no more perils from flash floods…

 The Paknaan relocation site can accommodate 1,200 – plus 25 reserved units – two-story houses with two bedrooms, living room cum kitchen area with individual sanitary toilets and septic tanks. Between the rows of houses are 3-meter RRWs, and the triangular-shaped total area is circumscribed by 10-meters wide streets. The water needs of every household are supplied by pipe connections with MCWD and electricity from VECO, and with individual meters to regulate their consumptions which shall be at their own expense. There’s also the 750sq.m. open space as community center for the chapel, day care center cum birthing facilities, and basketball and volleyball courts for sports and recreation, and a future meeting/social venue.

 Two model houses are now occupied by the family of Virginia Marcel from Looc and the other by one from Mahiga Creek cluster in Subangdaku. These functional model houses are now the targets of envy from the other qualified clusters, desirous to move in. Three hundred fifty-four (354) more houses are scheduled to be built in 2012, and 34 to 40 of them to be finished in January, 2012. The lots for the 354 units are ready for the construction works; whereas, the rest of the 1,225 units have yet to be overlaid with filling materials as soon as possible.

 Filling materials are available from several sources, but the problem is the access road to the project site and, only small barangay dump trucks are allowed passage, so far. While there are 3 possible routes to connect the location site to the main streets outside, the project facilitators are still mulling over which final access route is the most feasible, expedient, and practicable.

 Since private land owners are adamant to provide passageway, one suggested that the government has to exercise the right of eminent domain, if nothing else is negotiable. For the 29 houses blocking the possible access road and occupied by beneficiaries from the DPWH and built on a government lot, there are also available remedies…

 One, investigate if their houses have building permits as it’s likely that they don’t have any. Two, these people have signed waivers when they had applied for electrical permits that should the government use the lots, they would vacate. Three, exercise the right of eminent domain. Any of these measures are to counter the demand of these householders for P100T each, if made to vacate. Such demand is unconscionable for beneficiaries of government lots insisting to be paid also by the government that had allowed them the privilege of lot occupation for free.

 The project is under the aegis of the Community Mortgage Program, and the City’s undertaking is the project site development. Since the lot purchase was not on direct or spot cash, the lot owner upped the price at P2,000 per square meter, not P3T per square meter as bruited about by detractors. After all the painstaking plans, voluminous paper work, organizing qualified cluster beneficiaries, enlisting the help and cooperation of several entity benefactors and NGOs, the National Housing Authority will pay the land owner for lot acquisition.

The program is not an outright give-away. The package is payable in 25 years. Such details shall be set forth in a memorandum of agreement, complete with guidelines on the manner of payment, with penalties and sanctions in case of delinquency, and/or failure of their repayment obligations.

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