More than 70K informal settlers relocated for Manila Bay rehab
MANILA, Philippines — Over 70,000 informal settler families have been relocated from areas near the Manila Bay for its rehabilitation, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) bared Monday.
In a House natural resources committee hearing, DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing said that the agency has resettled a total of 70,165 informal settler families from Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.
This is only about 24 percent of the 190,655 informal settler families that needs to be relocated for the rehabilitation of the Manila Bay.
“Eighty percent of the pollution towards Manila Bay come from informal settler families…. We have identified four resettlement sites and a budget for them,” Densing said during the hearing.
He added that the agency still hoping for the lifting of some moratorium in Central Luzon and Calabarzon, particularly in Cavite and Bulacan so that the DILG can “continue with the relocation of specified identified informal settler families to these relocation sites.”
For its part, the National Housing Authority (NHA) said that it aims to construct about 15,000 housing units this year for the relocation of the informal settlers in Central Luzon and Calabarzon with a budget of P6.1 billion.
NHA official Christine Firmalino said that there are 1,840 units already up for occupation.
For 2020, the NHA aims to provide housing in cities Caloocan and Valenzuela for 34,105 informal settler families. Firmalino said the agency has asked for a budget of P25.4 billion for this purpose.
“This already covers the land development, housing construction, water and power and socio-economic component… We will build low-rise buildings,” Firmalino said during the hearing.
The rehabilitation of Manila Bay started January this year, which aims to reduce the level of water pollution — particularly the level of coliform bacteria which has reached up to 3 million most probable number per 100 milliliters. /je
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