5-hectare Port of Manila land set as relocation site | Inquirer News

5-hectare Port of Manila land set as relocation site

/ 03:25 PM February 26, 2019

5-hectare Port of Manila land set as relocation site

PHOTO by Gabriel Pabico Lalu/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — At least five hectares of land inside the Port of Manila were allotted as a relocation site for residents of Isla Puting Bato in Tondo, Manila through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by government officials and stakeholders on Tuesday.

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was present at the hearing and the ceremonial signing of the MOU at the Rosauro Almario Elementary School with Housing and urban development committee chair Rep. Alfredo Benitez Jr., said the relocation of people living near the shoreline is like hitting two targets at the same time.


“We’re dealing with something that’s been pending for a long time,” Arroyo said in an ambush interview. “So ngayon, malilinis na ang Manila Bay, magkakaroon din ng katiyakan sa lupang tinitirikan, so it’s a win-win situation (The Manila Bay is now clean, so there’ll be certainty. It’s a win-win situation),” Arroyo said in an ambush interview.


The six-page MOU stated that the project is a collaboration among different government bodies — the National Housing Authority, Manila’s local government unit (LGU), the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), and the Manila North Harbour Port Inc. (MNHPI).

The construction of low-rise condominium-style housing units and the clearing operations were the responsibility of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). On the other hand, the National Housing Authority (NHA) will conduct tagging and census activities to identify qualified owners at the Isla Puting Bato and facilitate the resettlement.

The LGUs are required to assist the agencies in its operations and organize the local inter-agency committee, which would prepare the action plan after the resettlement of the informal settlers.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who also attended the event, thanked the officials present for the help extended to Manila in fighting the poverty problem.

“In behalf of the people of Manila, we thank you very much for this,” he said.

On-site resettlement


Benitez said the resettlement will benefit residents who do not want to be relocated to a place far from school, work, or livelihood.

“Katabi lang. Kung ‘di ako nagkakamali, sa loob lang ng barangay. In other words, hindi nga in city ito eh, almost on site development (The resettlement site is inside the village. In other words, it’s not even in the city. It’s on-site development,” he explained to reporters after the program.

This setup is beneficial to families as it cuts day-to-day transportation cost, the lawmaker said.

“Ito ay malaking bagay lalo na kung nasa area ng hanapbuhay sila dahil wala na silang gastos sa pamasahe. Ang problema ng mga housing programs, kung nasa malalayong lugar, ang pumapatay ay hindi yung cost ng bahay, yung cost ng transportation (This is a big help, especially if their work is just near the vicinity, they won’t spend for transportation. The problem of most housing programs is they are usually located far from workplaces. So it’s not the cost of the house that becomes a burden, it’s the cost of transportation,” Benitez said.

Initially, more than 2,000 families are being eyed as possible beneficiaries for the resettlement project, which would also help ease the amount of waste and garbage thrown daily into the Manila Bay.

Benitez assured that the PPA has the funds for building quality buildings, which may take around a year to build.

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“PPA will now seed P1 billion as an initial fund to start the development of those housing units. So we are going to discuss this with the NHA sp we can finish 37 buildings,” he added in English and Filipino. /ee

TAGS: House of Representatives, Tondo

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