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2 havens for bridge dwellers in N. Ecija

CABANATUAN CITY—About 1,000 families, who live under bridges or along creeks, or who have lost their homes to typhoons and other calamities, are to be provided havens in two resettlement projects here.

The city government and the National Housing Authority (NHA) will make available a 5-hectare area in Barangay Kalikid Sur here for these victims next year.

The city government has also partnered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to develop a 1.9-ha area in Barangay (village) Bakod-bayan here.

“It will be our city’s way of solving the problem of informal settlers and taking care of the now homeless victims of Typhoons ‘Quiel’ and ‘Pedring,’” said city assessor Heide Pangilinan.

The resettlement projects are to be financed with a P26-million grant from the NHA and DSWD and augmented with a P12-million interest-free loan.

According to the 2010 census of the city social welfare and development office, 759 Cabanatuan families have been living under bridges, along creeks and other dangerous areas.

The office also documented more than 200 families, dominated by Badjao migrants, who have squatted on private properties here.

“Their continued stay on their squatted places has been the subject of criticisms and complaints,” Pangilinan said.

“Mayor [Julius Caesar] Vergara worked out solutions to [solve] this problem.” The victims rendered homeless by two typhoons rose to 200 families as of the last count, and would be served by a core shelter program undertaken by DSWD, she said.

The Barangay Kalikid Sur resettlement site is within the 20-ha property that the NHA acquired in 1994. The housing site in Barangay Bakod-bayan was bought by the city government for P1.7 million. Anselmo Roque, Inquirer Central Luzon

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Tags: Bridge dwellers , disaster , Housing , Nueva Ecija , Regions , Resettlement

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