Beneficiaries receive symbolic key to 41 houses in Paknaan relocation site

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

THE Mandaue City Government yesterday turned over 41 houses to beneficiaries of the 6.5-hectare relocation site in Barangay Paknaan.

Mayor Jonas Cortes led the distribution of symbolic keys during the turnover ceremony, which was held in time for the 24th Solidarity Week for the Urban Poor.

The houses are made of bricks called Interlocking Compressed Earth Block, which is made of 90 percent lime soil and 10 percent cement.


Manuel Zeta, Cebu coordinator of the Philippine Action for Community-led Shelter Initiatives Inc., said the houses are durable and safe.

Security of tenure

The non-profit organization is in charge of constructing housing units in the relocation site.

“We did a structural analysis for the houses,” Zeta said. The materials for each house cost P96,000, which is 30 percent cheaper than the traditional concrete house, he said.

Cortes, in a speech, said families living in riverbanks will have security of tenure by moving to the relocation site.

The beneficiaries logged hours of labor as their “sweat equity.” They pay for their house through the National Government’s Community Mortgage Program.

“Excited kaayo mi nga mudawat sa among balay (We’re very excited to receive our house), said Maria Luisa Lacuña, 43, one of the beneficiaries.

Lacuña, who works for a real estate company, said her family has lived beside the Mahiga River in Sitio Rosal, Barangay Banilad for 20 years.

Leopoldo Chavez, overall chair of the 12 homeowners’ associations in the relocation site, said beneficiaries can either build their house individually or join in the community-led housing project.

Making do

Elma Patun-og said his family might build their own house as they could not afford the community-led housing project.

“Maayo lang na sa mga naay dagkong income (Those are for the families with big income),” the 40-year-old Aloguinsan native said.

Her family lives under a bridge in Sitio Tambis, Barangay Umapad. They are among the 1,200 families that were given a space in the relocation site.

Patun-og said they will wait until their house is demolished before transferring to the relocation site.

“Nangita pa mi ug pundo pantukod ug balay (We’re still looking for money to build a house),” she said.

Patun-og raises a few hogs while her husband works as a welder. They have five children, three of whom are working.

Patun-og said she hopes the City Government will subsidize the cost of building a house in the relocation site.

Tony Pet Suico of the Housing and Urban Development Office said the access road to the site will be passable on or before Dec. 17.

Second batch

Chavez said the Metropolitan Cebu Water District is waiting for the completion of the access road before installing pipes in the area.

In the meantime, the Department of Agriculture and Development supplies water to the occupants.

Chavez said construction of the second batch of row houses will start next month.

Before the turnover ceremony, Cortes met with officials of the World Bank who visited Mandaue to check some projects.

Cortes said the Habitat for Humanity, an international non-profit organization that helps build houses for the homeless, has expressed interest to help develop the relocation site.

Cortes said the development of the relocation site will encourage more families living in riverbanks to relocate.

“This can create a rippling effect,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 09, 2012.

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