VP NOLI ADDRESSES ISSUES OF BULACAN RELOCATEES
1 July 2005
Vice President Noli “Kabayan” De Castro, Chairman of the
Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), recently
faced residents along the North Rail line in Malolos, and other parts
of Bulacan in order to address their concerns about the ongoing
relocation of their families.
In an “Ugnayang Kabayan” dialogue held at the Hiyas
Convention Center in Malolos, the Vice President answered the issues
raised regarding the price of lots at the relocation site, financial
assistance for those who opt not to transfer to the sites, the release
of a master list of qualified beneficiaries, issuance of a Certificate
of Compliance prior to demolitions, the processing of loans for
construction materials, and the selection of a relocation site for the
affected families from Marilao.
One of the complaints of the Buklod ng Maralitang
Tagalungsod ng Malolos (BUMATAMA) is that the lots being awarded to
them are too expensive. At P2,500 per square meter, the beneficiaries
will have to pay a total of P100,000 for their 40 square meter lots.
De Castro explained that the lot price includes the cost of
developments at the site, which include concrete roads, drainage
systems, electricity and water services.
“You will be paying the total amount in 30 years, at an
interest rate of only 3%. You will need only ten pesos per day to pay
your amortizations. That’s a small obligation in exchange for your
shelter security, and progress for the province of Bulacan once the
modern railway system becomes operational,” he said.
He clarified that the government will no longer implement
the P50,000 “balik-probinsya” grants as it did in Malabon. He said that
the government spent P300 million for this benefit, which is
non-recoverable as these are not loans but outright grants.
“This is not a solution at all since most of the families
just went back to squatting in a different location instead of going
back to the province,” he explained.
He reminded the railway settlers that the funds being used
for the resettlement program come from the taxes of the Filipino
He also explained the process for providing the P50,000
housing materials loan, which is being released to the beneficiaries in
four tranches, with each succeeding tranche being released only upon
presenting receipts for the previous one. This is to ensure that the
funds will be used for housing construction, to prevent the piling up
of materials at the relocation sites, and to comply with the
requirements of the Commission on Audit.
De Castro made the assurance that NHA will coordinate with
the Local Inter-Agency Committee (LIAC) to speed up the release of a
master list of qualified beneficiaries.
He also said that HUDCC
is working closely with the
Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP) to ensure compliance
with all the requirements for demolitions and relocation.
In the case of the Marilao settlers, he said that the
concerned LIAC has decided on the Brgy. Lambakin relocation site
instead of the one in Brgy. Loma de Gato, which is being pushed by one
group. This is because of various problems identified by the NHA
regarding the latter site, which will be detrimental to the relocatees
He emphasized the decision of the LIAC has to be respected.
“We have to follow the procedure, otherwise we will be disorganized,”
He assured the relocatees that the government will continue
to support their families once they have transferred to the
resettlement sites, as it has done for the families form the Valenzuela
alignment of North Rail.
“If you have any problems, you can come to me if you cannot
tell NHA about it,” he said.
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