The government has approved the release of a P3.78 billion allotted fund for the relocation and resettlement of informal settler families living in danger zones in Metro Manila, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced at the weekend.
In a statement, the DBM said the budget was sourced to the 2014 General Appropriations Act (GAA), meant to assist informal settlers residing in hazardous areas around the Philippine capital, especially near the waterways.
The DBM said the fund will be released to the National Housing Authority (NHA) through land development and construction of low-rise buildings (LRBs) on government-owned lands within the city, as well as housing settlements outside the city.
The NHA reported that the LRBs and off-city housing settlements currently being constructed can accommodate 1,234 units and 10,546 units respectively.
“With this fund release, the NHA can build stronger homes in safer areas—whether within the city or outside—as well as ensure the protection of these families during calamities or emergencies, like typhoons and heavy rains,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
Under the 2014 National Budget, P5.49 billion had been allocated for this project, Abad noted. Prior to the approval of the P3.78 billion, P600 million had been released.
The DBM chief said NHA’s relocation and resettlement program serves multiple purposes such as supporting local governments in providing housing and assistance and ensures the families’ safety in danger zones.
“Beyond that, relocating these families will help improve the sanitation and disaster-preparedness in problem areas in Metro Manila,” he said.
Abad said the relocation program is also part of the government’s continuing efforts to ensure the safety and well being of these families, given the constant problem of flooding in Metro Manila.
The relocation efforts are also in conjunction with a Supreme Court ruling to clean up the 3-meter easement of the Pasig River and its tributaries by 2015, he added.