TO ADDRESS the increasing number of urban poor dwellers, a local legislator wants to pass legislation creating a shelter framework plan for Cebu City.
Councilor Alvin Dizon, a former nongovernment organization head, said the plan will define the goals, objectives, and the implementation in addressing the housing and land problem of the homeless and the city’s poor.
Dizon said the City has yet to develop a strategy or framework that seeks to solve the housing problem of the urban poor.
“I will try my best that housing for the urban poor will be given a paramount priority and attention in the council because I am the representative of the urban poor in the council,” he said.
In 2006, there were 58,000 urban poor families registered in the city, 38,000 of whom availed themselves of the housing programs of the City and the National Government.
“And this (the number of squatters) has increased today and we now have a bigger problem, that’s why we need a shelter plan,” Dizon said.
The councilor said he will include in the shelter plan a clear guideline for the purchase and development of relocation sites, as well as their development.
Dizon said there are seven relocation sites in the city, including one in Barangays Busay, Pit-os and Budlaan, but these are not well-developed.
“Daghan kaayo ta’g relocation sites dinhi sa atong syudad pero P5 na la’y plite paingon sa langit, wala’y provision of basic facilities, wala’y tubig, kuryente (The locations are so far and these lack water and electricity),” he said.
Dizon said the development of the relocation sites is imperative as a way of solving the problem on housing for the urban poor.
“Mobalik ra gihapon na ang atong urban poor dwellers sa city kung di na ma-develop kay wa’y tubig, wa’y kuryente, wa’y
livelihood components (The urban poor will return to settle in the city center if we can’t develop the relocation sites),” he said.
Dizon assured he will be in constant dialogue with the urban poor to know what laws are needed to strengthen and advance their welfare.