Will P20B housing help Cebu City’s poor?

File photo
File photo

A P20 billion budget has been proposed to fund a 10 high-rise housing project which will shelter the informal settlers of Cebu City, but watchers hope the project will benefit the legitimate beneficiaries.

Under the Marcos administration’s Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Housing program, 10 high-rise buildings, with a total of 8,000 units, will be built at the South Road Properties (SRP) for the families that will be affected by the three-meter easement rule implementation, as well as the fire victims in the city.

However, groups helping the marginalized sector said what happens after the construction will determine whether the project will truly help the poor.

The project was discussed during the meeting of Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Undersecretary Henry Yap and DHSUD 7 Director Lyndon Juntilla with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) Head Joseph Michael “Yumi” Espina last Monday, March 20, 2023.

The national government will fund the housing project under the DHSUD.

Rama told reporters on Tuesday, March 21, that the City will pursue medium-rise and high-rise housing projects “in storm, aggressive, and massive.”

Espina, in a separate interview, said the plans are already in place; however, there is no word from the DHSUD on the project’s timeline.

Based on their initial data, around 3,500 families are affected by the City’s effort to recover the three-meter easement zones along the city’s waterways.


Sanlakas-Cebu secretary general Teody Navea said the group welcomed the development.

However, Navea said the housing project would only be effective if the beneficiaries can afford the housing, if livelihood is available, or if the move to the new location will not curtail the livelihood activities of the affected residents.

Pagtambayayong and Urban Poor Alliance-Cebu Project coordinator Hope Minor said their group would support the project if it is affordable and the housing sites are accessible to the beneficiaries.

Navea said it will take “strong political will” for such project to be properly implemented.

“If politics will get in the way, if they will accommodate only those whom they want, malawgaw na pud ang proyekto (the project will not meet its intended purpose),” said Navea.

Aside from the high-rise buildings initiated by the national government, Espina said the City also plans to build its own medium-rise buildings to house more informal settlers.


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