Relocation should be planned by community, suggests solon

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Monday, March 30, 2015


CEBU City Councilor Alvin Dizon wants the City Government’s resettlement plan to be done on-site, and that it should be a “people’s plan,” developed by the community itself.

In a privilege speech during the regular session Wednesday last week, Dizon said that this year the City Government appropriated P300 million for lot acquisition and P250 million for site development. He thinks that the relocation sites are still not liveable.

Republic Act 7279, known as the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 (UDHA), had two major components. The first is to provide affordable housing to the underprivileged, while the second is to provide protection against forcible evictions.

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From 80 barangays of Cebu City, there are 41,000 families that need to be relocated, 10,000 of them live in danger zones, such as areas near creeks, rivers and other waterways.

Target

With the increasing population and the high rate of migration, the City Government failed to reach its annual housing target, he said.

For 15 years (1998-2012), the government provided an average of 700 families per year.

Some of them do not want to live permanently in their new homes for varied reasons, such as lack of employment opportunities, as they were relocated far from the city. Another reason is that relocation sites are badly made, lack water supply, without electrical power and some structures are left unfinished.

That is why they are forced to return as informal settlers in the city.

People’s plan

Dizon proposed that if the relocation will be not on-site, this should be in the city area, it should be in accordance with the “people’s plan,” a proposal developed by the community with the assistance of the local government agencies.

He also suggested that these two policies the people’s plan should be established as a norm and should be included as a new ordinance.

He will continue to monitor and won’t stop to work.

Meantime, he is still considering the needed steps to take for the proposed program. (Mikee Kristine D. Beltran, USJ-R Mass Com Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 31, 2015.

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