Quake-resilient homes at P300/month for Manila squatters
For as low as P300 a month, close to 600 families living along waterways and other danger zones in Sampaloc, Manila, may now own quake-resilient homes without leaving the city.
In a statement on Tuesday, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said the government was fast-tracking construction of the “in-city” tenement housing near Estero de San Miguel in the Sampaloc district as part of President Benigno Aquino III’s “covenant with the poor.”
“The government is proud [of] this project because for the first time, the government and people’s organizations closely worked together in planning the relocation of informal settlers,” he added.
The housing project called the Estero de San Miguel Micro-Medium Rise Building was the first of its kind to be “constructed through the ‘People’s Plan,’ a program which allows urban informal settlers to identify in-city relocation sites as an alternative to distant or off-city relocation,” Roxas said.
Upon its completion, a total of 577 families residing in danger zones would benefit from the project funded under the Aquino administration’s Oplan Likas (Lumikas para Iwas Kalamidad at Sakit).
According to him, the housing project was “unique because it was developed in an in-city relocation site and designed both for energy and water conservation purposes.”
“This is a paragon of the cooperation between the people and the government. Under the Aquino administration, we will use this as a parameter in implementing other projects for the people in the future,” Roxas said.
Filomena Cinco, Barangay 412 chair and president of the Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Legarda, said the monthly amortization for the housing units was flexible as stipulated in the people’s plan.
“Payment depends on the capacity of the beneficiaries to pay,” she said. “Some would pay P300 a month, others P500 monthly for 25 or 30 years. The highest amortization would be P1,000 a month for those who earn P15,000 monthly.”
Architect Albert Santos Zambrano of the Department of Social Welfare and Development said the housing units were designed to withstand an Intensity 7 earthquake and each building would have its own rainwater harvesting system.
Roxas said model units in a three-story tenement were completed early this month. The building, which occupies a 24-square meter lot and can house two families in the approximately 18-square meter unit, also has commercial spaces on the ground floor.
He urged families residing along rivers, creeks and other waterways in Metro Manila to avail of similar affordable housing projects located in “safer, better communities.”
“More micro-medium rise buildings will be constructed as the government steps up the relocation of [informal settlers] living along dangerous waterways in Metro Manila, a program which forms part of the Aquino administration’s disaster risk reduction and management plan,” Roxas said.