The Quezon City government will push for the shortening of court proceedings on expropriation cases and also for adoption of amendments on the rules of the Commission on Audit (COA) on land acquisition for socialized housing as among the solutions that Vice President Leni Robredo could consider in addressing the problem of informal settlements in urban areas.
Mayor Herbert Bautista, in a meeting with the city’s housing officials on Friday at QC Hall, said both initiatives are necessary to avoid delays in the implementation of the government’s mass housing projects for the poor.
Based on the city’s presentation, long court proceedings and the existing COA requirement often prevent landowners from selling their lands. The absence of relocation slots from the National Housing Authority (NHA) has also been considered as an obstacle in implementing government on-site housing projects.
All said initiatives to be presented by the city government form part of the national comprehensive program that the city is proposing for the national government to create in an effort to address the country’s concern on informal settlements, including relocation.
While the city government has remained committed to providing housing for the poor, Mayor Bautista admitted that it cannot solve the problem on ISFs alone.
“The problem of addressing the concern on informal settlements in Quezon City is a very challenging thrust of my administration. But, we can help make this challenge manageable though the pathways of collaboration and teamwork among ourselves,” the Mayor said.
Based on the presentation of secretary to the mayor Tadeo Palma, there are about 195,061 ISFs presently occupying danger areas such as waterways, road-right-of- ways as well as various government projects and properties.
Records of the QC Housing, Community Development and Resettlement Department (HCDRD) indicate that the city’s relocation requirement stands at 64,481 ISFs.
New socialized housing communities aptly called “Bistekvilles” were built by the city government, under the Bautista administration, in an effort to provide housing for the city’s poor.
The city government has on-going plans for the development of at least 32 Bistekville housing projects.
Among those already inaugurated are the Bistekville projects Barangays in Payatas, Kaligayahan, Escopa II and III and Fairview. # (ARES P. GUTIERREZ, Chief, PAISO)