'10 years, P30-B needed for relocation of Metro squatters'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 18 2009 09:01 PM | Updated as of Oct 20 2009 05:12 AM

MANILA - It will take 10 years and a budget of at least P30 billion to relocate the more than half a million squatter families including those living in so-called danger areas in the metropolis, the Metro Manila Inter-Agency Committee on Informal Settlers (MMIAC) said.

Based on the MMIAC report, which was included in the compliance report submitted by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to the Supreme Court in line with its directive to cleanup the Manila Bay, about 21 percent or 544,609 of the 2.6 million households in Metro Manila are living in informal settlements.

Out of 544,609 squatter families, 19 percent or around 75,000 are living in danger areas such as riverbanks, esteros, under the bridges, roadways or sidewalks and aqueducts.

The MMIAC said these squatter families as well as those affected by the implementation of government infrastructure projects would be prioritized in the implementation of its 10-year housing program.

Housing needs

Under the program, the government needs to produce social housing 305 units per day or an additional 30,859 units per year over the current production of 30,141 units.

Thus, the total funding requirement for the 10-year program for both socialized and commercial housing needs in Metro Manila is estimated at P13.75 billion per year.

For socialized or public housing, the MMIAC said the total requirement is estimated at 22,689 units with a funding requirement of P3.225 billion per year.

Specifically, the government needs to produce additional 14,922 units every year in addition to the current production of 7,767 units.

It further disclosed that the development of an "off-site/off-city resettlement areas" will cost the national government P200,000 just to resettle one squatter family in relocation areas like in Calauan town in Laguna province.

For commercial or private housing, the total requirement is estimated at 26,323 units or a funding of P10.525 billion per year.

It also pointed out that another option, the development of the so-called medium rise housing, is a more expensive proposition as the government has to spend P800,000 to P1 million per unit per family.

“The provision of shelter for the ever-increasing informal settlers in Metro Manila remains a challenging task for the government but it is not an impassible job,” the report said.

MMIAC was established in 2007 to help the government deal with Metro Manila's perennial squatting problem.

It is composed of the Metro Manila Development Authority, Housing and Urban Development and Coordinating Council, National Housing Authority, Presidential Commission on Urban Poor, Commission on Human Rights, Office of the Undersecretary for Religious Urban, Caritas Manila, and various urban poor office in Metro Manila.