MANILA, Philippines - The Quezon City government is planning to relocate over 200,000 families, both rich and poor, living in danger zones such as rivers that overflow during heavy rains.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said notices have already been sent to families affected by the relocation.
"Sa Tullahan River marami, mayaman-mahirap nag-encroach diyan along the ilog. Sa Tullahan River, ililikas from danger zone na informal settlers about 3,000-5,000 families. Pockets lang yan, at least madali lang i-recover (at) mai-transfer. Ang medyo mabigat sa Tullahan River yung private encroachments ng mayayaman. Mga may-ari ng lupa," he told ANC.
"Yun bibigyan na natin ng mga notices. I already gave instructions to the building official and subdivision administrative unit na ipadala niyo na yung mga yan para alam nila na government is serious to reclaim its 3-5 meter eastment along the rivers para may floodplain yung river when it overflows," he added.
Bautista said that unlike other local government units, the land area of Quezon City is vast. He said his office divided Quezon City into four zones, and the families up for relocation will be transferred to cities nearest to their zone.
He said the plan has actually been in place since 2010 but the construction of relocation houses takes time.
"We divided QC into 4 quadrants so those in the northwest, in Mindanao and Quirino Avenues will be brought to Marilao, Bulacan. That’s 10-15 minutes from the border of QC. Those in Batasan will go to San Jose or Montalban. In the south, Ateneo, White Plains and Cubao will go to Antipolo. Others,Bulacan pa rin or where else,” he said.
The mayor said the relocation sites cannot be in Quezon City where property prices are high. He noted that the lowest property price in QC is at P6,000-P7,000 per square meter.
“We need hectares. Mauuubos pera ng local government. Even if we impose socialized housing tax, di namin kaya bilhin yan,” he said.
He said the relocation sites in Montalban, Rizal and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan will have schools and daycare centers so it will be easier for the affected families to adjust to their new location.
The question is – will QC residents agree to be uprooted from their homes? With a report from Ron Cruz, ANC