relocation project accomplished in record time
01 December 2005
delays, relocation of informal settlers up to the Bulacan segment of
North Rail-the biggest project of its kind in Philippine history-will
be completed in record time.
NORTHRAIL BULACAN SEGMENT RELOCATION
COMPLETED IN RECORD TIME. Vice President and concurrent HUDCC
chairman Noli "Kabayan" De Castro discusses with
Balagtas Mayor Reynaldo Castro the completion of
the Northrail relocation project in Balagtas
during a site inspection visit. According to De
Castro, the North Rail right-of-way up to Bulacan
will be completely cleared by December 10 this year, and will be turned over to the North Luzon Railway Corp. (NLRC) (photo by Ruel Pira).
According to Vice President Noli
"Kabayan" De Castro, Chairman of the Housing
and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), the North Rail
right-of-way up to Bulacan will be completely cleared by December 10
this year, and will be turned over to the North Luzon Railway Corp.
(NLRC). "As of end-November, we have already turned
over the cleared R-O-W in Balagtas, Meycauayan, and Marilao," De Castro
In a report to President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo and the members of the Cabinet, De Castro said that
the earlier projection to complete the project by the end of October
was not met as relocation and clearing operations were hampered by
Despite the change in the
timetable, however, President Arroyo lauded De Castro and all the
agencies and groups involved for "completing the biggest relocation
project in Philippine history in record time."
The Vice President led the
relocation of 18,644 families from Metro Manila and Bulacan in less
than one year. Only 342 more families under the original census need to
Among the factors cited by De
Castro for the delay are the continuous rains, cash flow issues and
resistance from a small group of beneficiaries.
maximized the sunny days by deploying volunteer marshals to direct
traffic in the relocation sites to facilitate families moving in, the
flow of delivery trucks, as well as construction activities," he said.
Also affecting the completion
date is the addition of 3,455 more families identified by the NLRC in
Kalookan and Bulacan not included in the initial census who will need
to be relocated.
For the next phase of the North
Rail relocation project, census and tagging of part of the Malolos
segment as well as in Apalit, Minalin, Sto. Tomas, San Fernando and
Angeles in Pampanga have been completed, while those in Mabalacat and
Calumpit are still ongoing.
Clearing of the Pampanga
segment is scheduled within the first semester of 2006.