A government study is eyeing establishing new settlements around the country in a bid to decongest Metro Manila.
Vice President Jejomar Binay is set to lead the said study, which as part of its framework, targets opening economic opportunities in other parts of the country.
Binay, who is the chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) on Sunday, expressed belief that the study is doable and “will entail a long and very comprehensive urban planning.”
“The inclusive growth that everybody wants to happen will be best realized through the creation of new investor-friendly and safe settlements all over the country,” Binay said.
He noted that many Filipinos believe the best opportunities only thrive in the country’s capital, a misconception he said, that caused Metro Manila to reach its carrying capacity in a short period.
“We need to reverse this trend. Instead of people going to one location to seek for greener pastures, we should bring the opportunities to them through these new settlements,” he added.
Binay’s move came amid the government’s campaign to clear waterways and their peripheries of thousands of shanties of informal settlers.
The Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change chaired by Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, according to Binay, had already approved the study on the establishment of new and safer settlements.
“Secretary Paje asked HUDCC to lead the proposed study group and we have accepted the challenge,” Binay said.
“We shall identify future settlements using new technologies on climate change, such as geohazard maps and LiDAR [Light Detection and Ranging], to protect our people and ensure that our communities would be out of danger from the effects of climate change,” he added.
LiDAR is the country’s first three-dimensional mapping technology that gives accurate topographical information.
Binay said the proposed study would also support the initiative of certain national government officials to find new locations that would promote economic development, citing Metro Manila’s very limited space.