BAGUIO City Mayor Benjamin Magalong is set to launch a project backed by the National Housing Authority (NHA) after NHA chair General Eduardo Del Rosario pledged P50 million for a socialized housing project in the city.
The chief executive said a meeting with the NHA resulted to the pledge as well as possible support from the United States of America on housing for the Muslim community.
Magalong added socialized housing is the answer to the city’s problems involving illegal settlers living at geo-hazard sites and public land and poverty reduction, citing an identified a 1.8 hectare space at Barangay Irisan owned by the city with corresponding titles to put the planned socialized housing project.
The city government is setting its sights on Irisan as the site for the put-up of tenement housing for the city’s socialized housing project and the establishment of an evacuation center to cater to the needs of calamity victims who will be displaced during the natural and man-made calamities.
Magalong earlier ordered the City Planning and Development Office, in coordination with concerned offices, to fast track the plans for the area to accommodate the proposed tenement housing project and the put up of the city’s evacuation center to complement its evacuation center within the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CDRRM) building located within the City Engineering Office compound in Lower Rock Quarry barangay.
Earlier, the previous administrations of the local government identified the city-owned property as a site for the housing project of government employees but the same did not materialize through the years.
Magalong asserted tenement housing is the most practical way of providing decent housing to the marginalized sectors as the city does not have sufficient land area for single-detached houses for the beneficiaries of socialized housing project.
He said the local government’s socialized housing project and the planned evacuation center will have to be built side-by-side to maximize the space and fast track the implementation of the said projects at the same time that the city is working on the implementation of other priority development projects beneficial to the greater majority of the populace.
The mayor added the problem on illegal settlers was presented to the NHA and set the example of a Muslim community living in what he described as “sub human conditions” at the Crystal Cave area.
Magalong said the Crystal Cave area has a sinkhole and stressed the need to evacuate residents who still insist to dwell in the area for a lack of better abode.
“Lubog ang lugar na yun, we need to evacuate doon, tanggalin natin sila doon,” added Magalong.
He added during the NHA meeting, the USA group tasked to undertake the rehabilitation of Marawi focused on Muslim communities was also present and pledged to help the city.
“This is another source of funds for our socialized housing,” the chief executive said.
Magalong the aim for his administration is to acquire funds and grants from national government and outside sources so the city can bankroll programs without cost. (With a report from Baguio City PIO)