By Ria Fernandez
The city government of Manila is pushing for a stronger and more affordable socialized housing for its homeless residents.
On Monday, it held a housing summit with a theme “Maralitang Taga-Lungsod, Alaga sa Maynila” at San Andres Gym in Malate, Manila.
With representatives of national government agencies, such as the National Housing Authority (NHA), Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) and hundreds of urban poor leaders from the city in attendance, the local officials bared their plans on providing decent housing and ensuring security of land tenure for their people.
Among the city government’s commitments were to strengthen its land-for-the-landless program and lower the equity share of residents seeking to have their own homes from 30 percent to 15 percent by increasing its budget in the acquisition of lot.
It also eyes to buy more lots for in-city relocation and construct more multi-story vertical housing units. The existing ones, it said, will be refurbished as well.
Moreover, it aims to provide financial assistance to relocatees so they can start anew.
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said he was determined to provide permanent decent houses for at least 15,000 families if ever he wins again as the city’s chief executive in May 13 polls.
Most of these are the informal settlers living along danger areas particularly the esteros and waterways, which are the subject of the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
“Construction, in cooperation with the DILG, of 128 housing units for the benefit of ISFs in Dubai, Baseco in Port Area [and] provision of P3.3 million in post relocation assistance to 700 ISFs relocated and for relocation in Naic, Cavite, is underway,” he said.
According to Manila Urban Settlements Officer Atty. Danilo Isiderio, P213 million have already been set aside for the purchase of 16 estates with a combined total area of 93,000 sq. m. These assets will benefit 991 beneficiaries.
He added that 376 beneficiaries were given Certificates of Lot Award (COLAs) from Sept. 2013 to Oct. 2018.