The Quezon City government is conducting a series of dialogues with the city’s informal settlers, particularly those living in danger zones, in preparation for their “mass relocation” this March.
Secretary to the Mayor and Task Force on Housing chairman Tadeo Palma and Urban Poor Affairs Office (UPAO) head Ramon Asper, on orders of Mayor Herbert Bautista, have intensified the city government’s efforts to enlighten informal settlers, particularly those opposing relocation, on the need to vacate their dwellings in hazardous places like those encroaching on the city’s sidewalk, easements, alleys, and roads and waterways.
Palma said that National Housing Authority (NHA) will provide housing units at the agency’s housing projects in San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan and Barangay San Isidro in Montalban where a total of 2,000 units were reported available.
During a regular executive staff meeting, Mayor Bautista also ordered Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (QCDRRMC) to be ready by March 15 for initial preparation and action for the relocation program.
Bautista said that the city government will also submit to President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay on March 15 the recommendation of the QC Shelter Board for the mass relocation of informal settlers from danger zones.
The mayor explained that mass relocation should be undertaken during vacation of students to prevent dislocation.
A total of 2,000 families living in identified danger zones will be affected by the mass relocation to be undertaken by the city government.
“We must not be caught unprepared for this eventuality. We all know that this will be chaotic because of the number of families affected, but we must encourage them to cooperate and accept the relocation package offered by the government because it is for their own protection and benefits,” Bautista said.
The mayor has urged other concerned agencies and departments to go hand in hand in implementing the mass relocation particularly the NHA, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the Philippine National Police-Quezon City Police District (PNP-QCPD) to ensure an orderly transfer of the informal settler families.
To date, aside from the two NHA housing projects, the QC government had reportedly acquired a lot in Payatas which will be the first site for a socialized housing project of Mayor Bautista. -30- Maureen Quinones, PAISO