• Buddhist group to build 100 houses for poor Baseco residents

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    The world’s biggest Buddhist humanitarian organization is building 100 houses for the residents of Baseco Compound, Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada of Manila said on Saturday.

    Estrada said the city government has signed an agreement with the Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines, Inc. for the construction of a new housing village in the Port Area where about 60,000 informal settlers are living.

    “As long as we can, every poor, homeless family, not only in Baseco but also in other poor communities here in Manila, will be provided with decent home. This is our vision, our dream – a ‘slum-free’ Manila,” the mayor said in a statement.

    “Everyone, especially the poor, should have access to a safe, secure and habitable home with freedom from forced eviction. It is the government’s obligation to guarantee that everyone can exercise this right to live in security, peace, and dignity,” he added.

    Tzu Chi Foundation, a Taiwan-based group, has been in the Philippines for 22 years doing various programs for disaster relief and rehabilitation, education, medicine and environmental protection, among others.

    Danny Isiderio, chief of the city’s Urban Settlements Office (USO), said the 100 new housing units will rise in a one-hectare land in Baseco.

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