THE development of the first in-city environment-friendly, calamity resistant and affordable relocation houses for more than 500 informal settler families (ISFs) is being fast tracked, official said Tuesday.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II said the government's housing project under "Lumikas para Iwas Kalamidad at Sakit" or Oplan Likas program in several areas in Sampaloc, Manila is being fast tracked for immediate turn-over to the 577 ISFs.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has listed as beneficiaries of the program a total of 105 ISFs to be relocated in Legarda street and 260 families on P. Casal Street, both along Estero de San Miguel in Sampaloc, Manila while 149 ISFs in Estero de San Sebastian and 63 in Estero de Quiapo.
Roxas said that affordable settlement for ISFs is unique because it was developed in an in-city relocation site and designed both for energy and water conservation purposes.
"Ipinagmamalaki ng pamahalaan ang proyektong ito dahil sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon, magkatuwang ang gobyerno at ang people’s organizations sa pagbubuo ng plano para sa pabahay ng mga kapatid nating informal settlers," Roxas said.
"Ito ang modelo ng pagtutulungan sa pagitan ng pamahalaan at taumbayan. Sa ilalim ng administrasyon ni Pangulong P-Noy (President Benigno Aquino III), ito ang susundin nating pamantayan sa pagpapatupad ng mga proyektong nakalaan para sa mamamayan," he added.
"Oplan Likas" aims to relocate ISFs living along danger zones, such as, areas near creek, rivers and esteros in various parts of Metro Manila to a safe, decent and affordable housing unit, as part of President Benigno Aquino III's "Covenant with the Poor."
The housing project was constructed following the "People's Plan," a program, which allows urban informal settlers to identify in-city relocation sites as an alternative to distant or off-city relocation.
Filomena Cinco, chairman of Barangay 412 and president of the Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Legarda, said under the "People's Proposal" that was approved by the DILG and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the payment for the amortization of the housing is flexible.
The payment depends on the capacity of the beneficiaries to pay.
"Ang amortization ay flexible terms. May mga magbabayad ng P300 a month, at mayroon naman P500. Ang pinakamalaki ay P1,000 isang buwan. Iyon ay yung ang income ay umaabot na sa P15,000 a month. Sa mga maliit lang ang income o kita, P300 hanggang P500 kada buwan sa loob ng 25 hanggang 30 taon," she said.
Meanwhile, Architect Albert Santos Zambrano of the DSWD said each unit will have a rainwater harvesting system that will allow building occupants to harvest water during the rainy season.
"It also has cross ventilation allowing wind to pass through and circulate in the unit, hence, will save the occupants in terms of electricity cost," he said.
Also, he said the building was designed to withstand strong earthquakes.
"The foundation is 1.5 meters deep. We did it because the soil along the Estero de San Miguel is soft to make the building's foundation stronger. The materials used are also complaint of the building code. It can withstand an intensity 7 earthquake," he said.
Together with the DILG, DSWD, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is also working on the project.
However, Roxas, who is also the vice chairman for preparedness of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) called on ISFs in Metro Manila to avail themselves of the program's benefits as the DILG steps up the relocation of those living in danger zones to safer and better communities.
On 2013, President Aquino issued Memorandum Order 57 ordering the DILG to immediately lead the relocation of informal settlers living in danger and high-risk areas to decent housing sites.
The President said that the relocation of informal settlers from so-called danger zones and high risk areas to better, safer communities, will also pave the way for the clearing of clogged waterways that will help address the perennial flooding woes in Metro Manila.
"Asahan ninyo na marami pang proyektong tulad nito ang ipatutupad natin sa mga darating na araw. Nagbubunga na ang Daang Matuwid na tinatahak natin. Ang tagumpay natin laban sa katiwalian ay nangangahulugan ng mas maraming pondo para sa kapakanan ng taumbayan," Roxas said.
According to latest statistics from the National Housing Authority (NHA), the number of ISFs in the whole country is around 550,771. Of the number, almost 200,000 are staying in Metro Manila. (Sunnex)