Informal settlers cause garbage piles in Manila ‘esteros’ — authorities

admin   •   March 3, 2018   •   12255

FILE PHOTO: Houses built along the Estero de la Reina in Tondo, Manila

MANILA, Philippines — Many families choose to live in the riverbanks along Pasig River in Manila.

The reason, they say, is the lack of assurance regarding their relocation.

In such situation, they are left with no choice but to endure the pollution in Estero de la Reina.

The family of Rachel Madalag is among those who will be relocated from the side of Estero de la Reina in Tondo, Manila to a municipality in Bulacan.

For Rachel Madalag, although there is no assurance in their lives in the relocation site in Bulacan, it is more acceptable compared to the risks on the health of her four children brought by the polluted river.

“Nag-aalala po kasi gawa ng may mga lamok. Tapos yung amoy nila, amoy ng ilog (I worry a lot because of mosquitoes and the stench of the river) ,” said Madalag.

According to the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC), a huge volume of the garbage in the esteros (drainage canals) of Manila, Pasig River, and  Manila Bay comes from the informal settlers.

“Pinakiusapan na rin natin ang mga nakakasakop na LGU [local government unit] na tulungan kami sa paglilinis ng mga ka-ilogan (We have called on the LGUs within our vicinity to cooperate with us in cleaning up the rivers),” the PRRC Executive Director Jose Antonio Goitia said.

Estero de la Reina connects the 11 barangays in Manila City.

For some barangay officials, removing the informal settlers has always been a big challenge for them.

“Nabigyan na ng mga bahay ang mga yan eh. Nagbabalikan dito yan. Tapos sa amin ninyo isisisi kapag nagtapon sa bahay yan (These people have been given social housing already, they just keep coming back here. But we are the ones being blamed every time they dump garbage),” said Brgy. 60, Zone 5 chairman Onnie Torres.

“Malinis pa noon, kasi nga nasu-swimming ng mga bata (The river used to be clean back then and kids could still swim in it) ,” said  Brenda Miano, a resident near the estero.

“Sana yung hindi pa mga narerelocate, marelocate na para malinis na talagang husto yung ilog (Hopefully those who have yet to be relocated will be relocated soon so that the river can be completely rehabilitated) ,” she added.

Other esteros in Manila are also in the same condition.

This prompted the PRRC and other key government agencies to join forces to clean up these drainage canals. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

6.5 million housing units needed for informal settlers nationwide — DHSUD

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — At least 6.5 million housing for informal settlers are needed nationwide, according to the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).

DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario reported that the department already accomplished 1.07 million housing which is 89% out of the 1.2 million housing target for 2022.

Del Rosario said they are on track with the mission. However, he lamented that it is still far from the 6.5 million target units.

“Concerning the 6.5 million housing needed nationwide, medyo mababa ito (it is low) because that is only 20% of the total requirement,” he said.

Del Rosario said that from 2017 to 2021, the department’s budget is only ranging from about P4 billion to P5 billion, or only 10% of the recommended budget for their housing projects.

The official also added that the department needs P50 billion in order to address housing challenges in the country.

“Housing is capital intensive. Kailangan natin ng pondo (we need funds). We have been saying that we need P50 billion a year para makapagpagawa tayo and mai-transfer natin ang mga informal settler families to safer grounds (to build and transfer informal setter families to safer grounds),” he said.

Meanwhile, for the construction projects during the pandemic, Del Rosario reported that production decreased by 28% in 2020. However, he said the production this year has been improving. AAC

Manila begins construction of city’s fifth housing projects for informal settlers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila City government has begun construction of the 20-storey Pedro Gil Residences.

The local government broke ground on Monday (August 30) the city’s fifth housing project for informal settlers and renters.

Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso led the groundbreaking ceremony of the Pedro Gil Residences located in San Andres Bukid.

The Pedro Gil Residences will have 125 parking slots, a health center, five elevators for residential units, swimming pool, activity lawn, function room, fitness center, roof garden on the 6th-floor roof deck, five units of rentable space, outdoor activity area at 7th, 13th, and 18th floors, and a roof deck basketball court.

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said that the construction of the said housing project aims to uplift the status of the informal settlers in the nation’s capital.

“We will not stop. We will put a roof over people’s heads. Bibigyan natin ng kapanatagan sa pamumuhay ang mga taong habangbuhay na lang nangungupahan. We will give them homes,” he said.

Domagoso was joined by Manila City Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan, City Engr. Armand Andres, City Arch. Ely Balmoris, and City Health Officer Arnold Pangan during the groundbreaking ceremony.

Meanwhile, the Manila City government targets to complete the construction of Tondomnium 1 and 2, as well as Binondominium, within the year. AAC

Manila City to construct three new housing projects for informal settlers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Manila City Government is set to construct three new housing projects to continue to address the plight of informal settlers.

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday (July 15) said the housing projects will be constructed in San Sebastian, San Lazaro, and Pedro Gil areas. According to Domagoso, the San Sebastian Residences, San Lazaro Residences, and Pedro Gil Residences will be a 20-storey high building with 300 units each and health center based on the ground floor.

“If Singapore did it, Manila can do it. Ang mga pinatayo nating bahay ang magbabalik ng dignidad sa buhay ng mga Manilenyo (The housing we have constructed will bring back the dignity in the lives of Manileños). There will be an opportunity for them,” he said.

Domagoso previously led the inauguration of the 42-square meters two-storey townhouse unit called BaseCommunity last July 5. The unit includes two bedrooms, one living room, one kitchen, one laundry area, one toilet and bath area.

According to the Manila Public Information Office (MPIO), the future housing projects is on top of the ongoing construction of city government’s flagship housing projects called Tondominium 1, Tondonminium 2, and Binondominium. All of which are now more than 50% complete. AAC

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