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Davao City to develop 20 hectares as relocation site for urban poor

/ 12:48 PM February 20, 2012

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The city government has been talking with the private sector for a joint development of a 20-hectare property in Barangay (village)Lasang into a relocation site for informal settlers, a city hall official said.

Roy Ryan II Rigor, acting housing and home site officer of the City Housing Office, said developing the area alone would cost about P100 million, a task that the city government could not undertake without external help.

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Landfill would have to be dumped on the area — which the Alsons group of companies earlier donated — because it was on the low-lying portion of the city and not elevating it could result in bigger problems in the future, according to Rigor.

“The city is currently faced with a budget lack problem in developing the area,” he said.

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The decision to develop the area, Rigor said, came amid the fast depletion of lots in existing relocation sites due to the rising number of informal settlers in the city.

There has been no clear data on how many families lived on properties belonging to other individuals or companies as of yet but hundreds of informal settlers need to be moved out to relocation sites, according to Rigor.

“The increasing number of informal settlers can be attributed to the rapid urbanization in the city,” he said.

Data from the City Housing Office show that the city has 13 relocation areas with a total land area of 773,259 hectares.

The Los Amigos relocation area in Tugbok district, with a total land area of 23 hectares for Phase 1 alone, is the most popular among informal settlers — who agreed to be relocated — due to its accessibility. About 729 informal settlers had agreed to be relocated there.

Lots in other relocation areas such as in the barangay (villages) of Catalunan Grande, Tibungco, Mintal, Marapangi in Toril district, Tigatto, Upper Malagamot, Panacan, and Mahayag in Bunawan district, are also being filled up fast, according to Rigor.

Aside from informal settlers, Rigor said the city government wanted to relocate residents living in areas of the city, which had been found to be flood-prone.

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He said the city would be courting a bigger disaster if they were not relocated as soon as possible.

In June last year, at least 31 people were killed when floods inundated three low-lying villages in Talomo district, including the densely populated Matina village.

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TAGS: Housing, Local authorities, Local Governments, News, Regions, Relocation site, squatters, urban poor
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