Government vows assistance for informal settlers along railway project

THE City Government of San Fernando and several National Government agencies vowed to provide support to several informal settler families in the city whose shelters will be affected by the railway project.

City Local Housing and Settlement Division (LHSD) Chief Louie Clemente said the government will be helping these families prepare for their relocation before the actual construction of the Malolos-Clark Railway Project set next year.

The proposed 53.1-kilometer-long railway, which will connect Malolos, Bulacan to Clark Freeport Zone and Clark International Airport, is expected to affect structures and houses from more than 10 barangays within San Fernando.

“Ang magiging focus ng ating pagtulong sa kanila ay ang social preparation bago yung mismong pagsisimula ng railway project. Matapos natin ma-identify yung qualified families, tayo ang mangangasiwa sa mga kinakailangang dokumento o proseso at tutulong tayo sa maayos na relocation nila sa ilalim ng programa ng National Housing Authority, at magbibigay tayo ng livelihood programs para sa kanila,” said Clemente.

The National Housing Authority cites on its official website that informal settlers affected by an infrastructure project will benefit from its resettlement program, including the “provision of housing units, community facilities, socio-economic and other community support programs.”

Jake Sabdao, who heads the Social Safeguard and Informal Settler Families Resettlement of the North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project, said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) was optimistic the project will be successful.

“The DOTr is confident about the humane resettlement of the ISFs and with the cooperation of agencies, as manifested in the 1st LIAC meeting, we will be able to implement the project on time and the affected people will have better lives,” Sabdao said.

He also extended his gratitude to the City Government and Mayor Edwin Santiago for convening the first Local Inter-Agency Committee meeting on November 25.

Santiago, who chairs the committee, said the project will enable the government and families to face a change for the better.

“Marami ang benepisyo ng proyektong ito at ang pinaka-nangunguna dito ay ang pagbabago. Pagbabago sa paraan ng transportasyon natin kung saan sadyang mapapabilis ito. Pagbabago sa estado ng imprastraktura sa ating rehiyon at sa bansa. At, pagbabago sa buhay ng ating informal settlers na makakapag-simula sila ng mas payapa, ligtas, at matiwasay na buhay,” he said.

The government also has a separate support program for the affected private-owned structures and houses for the project, including the assistance of DOTR and Land Bank of the Philippines for the property valuation and appraisal. (CSF-CIO)


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