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V Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)

V National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC)



Kabayan Forum

1 July  2005

Vice President Noli “Kabayan” De Castro, Chairman of the Housing and 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 people.

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 themselves.

He emphasized the decision of the LIAC has to be respected. “We have to follow the procedure, otherwise we will be disorganized,” he said.

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.                                                                                   HOME | back-to-top  

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