By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
Two 14-storey residential buildings will rise in Tondo and Binondo this year as Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagaso focuses on social amelioration programs and address housing problems of informal settlers.
“We’re going to build Tondominium 1, Tondominium 2,” Moreno said over ANC in an interview Tuesday.
Moreno said the city of Manila was able to acquire a 3,000 square meter lot in Tondo and another 2,000 square meter lot in Binondo where the proposed 14-storey housing projects will be built.
Each unit, Moreno said measures 42 square meters in size with two bedrooms.
“Buti naman pumayag ang NHA (National Housing Authority) na magtayo ng more than five storeys (It’s good that NHA allowed us to build more than five storeys),” he said.
“We’re going to utilize whatever space that we have,” he added, “We’re gonna show the people how to build an in-city vertical housing program.”
“One of the problems of Manila is informal settlers. They’re everywhere [and] it’s undeniable,” Moreno said. “They can be at the creek, at the streets or anywhere.”
“And we have to start addressing it,” he added.
Moreno believes people always return to where they find “comfort.” So instead of relocating informal settlers, the city has decided to build an in-city vertical housing to address the housing problem.
“A lot of leaders tried to relocate them, [but] it ends up, people are going back,” he said.
Moreno said the city borrowed money from various banks to fund the project.
“We borrowed P5 billion pesos from the Development Bank of the Philippines. And we have still another chance of getting P10 billion from LandBank,” he said.
Aside from housing programs, the money will also be utilized for other social amelioration programs, including health centers and parks.
“Escolta Riverside. The plan is already there. Bagong Ospital ng Maynila. Manila Zoo,” Moreno said giving a hint of future projects in the pipeline to improve the city he has vowed to restore to its former glory.