THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday bared plans to relocate thousands of families living illegally along Metro Manila’s waterways to prevent massive loss of lives during disasters.
Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd said the relocation plan is part of the government’s disaster preparedness, especially since these families are in areas considered to be “geohazard”.
“Plans to relocate permanent settlers in vulnerable or danger zones is on the go… there are 60,000 families living in waterways in Metro Manila,” Roxas told reporters during a press briefing in Camp Crame on Monday.
Roxas said that informal settlers who are illegally living along waterways in Metro Manila are not only putting themselves in danger but the entire metropolis as well.
“Itong mga floodways na ito eto yung naghahatid ng mga tubig ulan at tubig galing sa mga kabundukan sa Rizal sa Montalban, pababa palabas hanggang Manila Bay hanggang sa Laguna de Bay,” Roxas explained.
According to him, families that will be up for relocation will be given an opportunity to choose if they would want to move to an in-city or an off-site relocation site with the government assisting them.
“As of now, their [informal settlers]relocation had started. About the first thousand more or less… they were the first ones to start relocating while others are still choosing their relocation site,” Roxas further averred.
The DILG chief added that relocating thousands of informal settlers from waterways will be beneficial to everyone and will help minimize or curb incidents of flooding in the National Capital Region.
“So, if these are cleared immediately and the water will flow freely, there will be no floods or in case there is one the water will recede fast,” Roxas stressed.
He said that the relocation could be completed in two years.