The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has granted six city governments in Metro Manila P334.5 million in seed fund for socialized housing under the government’s One Safe Future (1SF) Program.
“[This is not a political promise but a moral promise made by President Benigno Aquino 3rd],” Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd said during signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at the Baseco Evacuation Center Compound in Manila’s Tondo district, marking the culmination of Urban Poor Solidarity Week.
Among the witnesses to the signing was Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
Through Memorandum Order 57 signed last year, President Aquino placed Roxas in charge of relocation of informal settler families (ISFs) living in high-risk areas in Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR).
“[We are here to provide sturdy and safe houses for all those living in danger areas],” Roxas told beneficiaries of the grant.
A revolving fund that will be used for in-city resettlement of ISFs is provided for in the MOA signed by other key local government officials in Metro Manila and Tom Villarin, DILG Undersecretary for the Urban Poor, ISFs and Other Special Concerns.
As of this year, Metro Manila has almost a total of 14,500 ISFs, most of them staying along the three-meter easement of eight priority waterways in the cities of Malabon, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Caloocan, Navotas and Manila.
More than 8,300 families from the NCR had been relocated to safe areas.
The One Safe Future Program envisions an ISF-free community in Metro Manila by 2016.
According to Roxas, the relocation program is not a “one size fits all” solution, citing the importance of a bottom-up approach in addressing needs of stakeholders.
[Because we’re all here as a community, this is in fulfillment of what President Aquino calls ‘whole of country approach’ (or one that is) participatory and united.)],” he said.
The government’s partnerships with groups such as Social Housing Finance Corporation, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, civil society organizations, people’s organizations and even the World Bank have helped more than 280,000 informal settler families since 1989.