Informal settlers pose challenge to govt planning

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An official of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) said on Thursday that government plans for housing construction would go together with the transport developments even in far-flung areas, since there is “difficulty” in building housing units for the informal settlers in the cities.

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NEDA Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan told reporters during the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association Convention that despite informal settlers preferring settlement within cities, government housing programs is seen to expand near transport development areas.

“What we have to do is to look at the housing as a settlement program that is taking together with transport roadmap. It is very difficult now to build within the existing cities. It is going to be a challenge,” Tungpalan said.

“In-city is the preference of the informal families because that’s where jobs are available, but it’s very hard to get locations in cities. [For in-cities] we have a trade-off between prime housing, or prime for higher value property investment,” the NEDA deputy director general added.

According to Tungpalan, present government settlement projects located in cities are still subjected to the discussion of the NEDA Infrastructure Committee and the President. This can take up about 9,000 hectares of in-city housing developments.

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