170,000 houses being built for informal settlers | Inquirer News

170,000 houses being built for informal settlers

/ 05:50 AM January 11, 2024

170,000 houses being built for informal settlers

Housing Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar (File photo from the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), in partnership with the local governments of Metro Manila, is planning to repurpose container vans in temporary “staging areas” where informal settlers can reside while the government completes their new homes.

During the Metro Manila Council (MMC) meeting on Wednesday at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) headquarters in Pasig City, Housing Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar said that 170,000 units were being built in 55 projects in the National Capital Region.


While construction is ongoing, the government plans to temporarily relocate informal settler families (ISFs) to the staging areas for at least one to two years before they permanently transfer to their homes.


Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos noted that local government units (LGUs) had been asked to identify idle government lands that could be used for both the housing program and staging areas to serve as temporary shelters.

“The ISF families will not be displaced as we plan in-city relocation,” Abalos said.

READ: What to do with government housing units still empty?

READ: House approves ‘subsidy’ for informal settlers awaiting gov’t housing

Staging sites needed

Meanwhile, acting MMDA Chair Romando Artes said that Metro Manila mayors would create inventories of ISFs in their areas and government-owned open spaces to be used as staging sites.

“We will create a Technical Working Group that will be closely working together for the submission of LGUs’ inventories of all available and suitable lands for the program,” he said.

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, also the concurrent MMC president, committed to cooperate with the implementation of the DHSUD’s Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Program.

“It is my vision for San Juan to be ISF-free, and this project is an opportunity to make it possible and provide [them] with decent housing all over Metro Manila,” he said.


He added that the LGUs could also provide incentives to private property owners who would allow their idle property to be used as staging sites.

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TAGS: government housing, informal settlers

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