Riverbank settlers eyed for relocation

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014


CANDABA, Pampanga -- The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will relocate families living along the riverbanks of the Pampanga River considered as “danger zones” in the towns of Candaba and Apalit in Pampanga, and Calumpit and Paombong in Bulacan.

Candaba has 286 private homes while Apalit has 1,072 homes subject for relocation. In Bulacan, Calumpit has 650 private homes and Paombong has 197 also targeted for relocation because these are all located along Pampanga River.

DILG Undersecretary Francisco “Bimbo” Fernandez, together with the other officials, visited the settlers and validated the poor condition of the families situated within the three-meter easement of the Pampanga River in Barangay Buas, Candaba.

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Fernandez said that the National Government ordered “all relocation strategies of the government agencies should prevent the displacement of families from their source of livelihood and schools.”

He said they prioritize the informal settlers along the riverbank, who are mostly affected by the disasters brought by sudden silt, deposit flows or soil erosion that occur during rainy seasons.

On the other hand, Candaba Mayor Rene Maglanque said that the municipality already purchased 6.7 hectares of land in Barangay Pasig for a relocation site.

“We are very thankful to the National Government as it is eyeing our town for the provision of local shelter assistance. In particular, we would like to express our deepest appreciation to the DILG for giving priority to the needs of the LGUs towards attaining excellence in local governance,” Maglanque said.

Lerrie S. Hernandez, DILG chief for Monitoring and Evaluation Division, said that this year, they are setting an institutional arrangement such as planning with concerned line agencies, LGUs, NGOs and other stakeholders for the smooth implementation of their projects. She added that full implementation of the relocation and rehabilitation would be next year.

DILG Regional Director Florida Dijan said their department has a strong partnership and connection with the local government units towards fulfilling and achieving their common goal: providing suitable, descent and affordable housing units to the most affected residents along the riverbank.Kristine Venet Q. Andal

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 15, 2014.

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