City leads in housing projects

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Friday, May 16, 2014


MANDAUE City could be a model for other local government units (LGUs) when it comes to implementing socialized housing projects.

This is why representatives from the World Bank and the Socialized Housing Finance Corp. (SHFC) are doing a two-day visit to three low-cost housing sites in the city.

They brought along representatives from seven other LGUs, all from the National Capital Region except for Davao, to learn from Mandaue City’s experience.

Lawyer Maria Rosalie Taguian, vice president of SHFC., said Mandaue City, as well as Iloilo, are implementing a city-wide approach in upgrading informal settlements.

“They are not only focusing on one community, but are doing a city-wide tagging of informal settlers and making an integrated plan for the whole city,” she told reporters yesterday.

The SHFC, which helps provide funds for low-cost housing projects, has partnered with the World Bank to expose participating LGUs to best practices in upgrading informal settlements.

LGUs that sent representatives to Mandaue City were the cities of Caloocan, Valenzuela, Malabon, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Davao and Quezon.

They were given a tour of the 6.5-ha. relocation site in Barangay Paknaan, Lower Tipolo Homeowners Association and Kobe Canduman Housing.

Survey

Tonypet Juanico, head of the City Housing and Urban Development Office, said there are about 4,000 households in the city’s danger zones, particularly on riverbanks.

The City had conducted a survey of informal settlers living close to rivers. It developed the 6.5-hectare relocation site in Paknaan for 1,200 families.

The City has yet to reveal plans for the resettlement of the rest of the identified families.

Juanico, addressing the visitors and residents yesterday, said the City is developing the relocation site in Paknaan with the support of the private sector.

Materials

The Cebu Contractors Association, for instance, have provided free filling materials for the site development. It also built a daycare center designed by the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers.

“I hope this kind of project will cascade beyond Mandaue,” Juanico said.

The delegates from SHFC, World Bank and the LGUs, who had earlier visited Iloilo, will interact with the homeowners and officials involved in Mandaue’s housing projects to get ideas on how they can address their own housing problems, said Taguian.

“We want to raise awareness on the city-wide development approach to upgrading informal settlements,” she added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 16, 2014.

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