[ manilstandardtoday.com ] July 20, 2008
The National Housing Authority has set for itself a target of 67,473 units for this year as it pursues its task to provide decent shelter to the needy.
The agency is already well on its way of achieving its target, which is up by 75 percent from the previous year’s average, according to Federico Laxa, general manager.
For the years 2005, 2006 and 2007, NHA production averaged 40,000 units surpassing the previous 10-year average of 25,000 units, Laxa said.
NHA is under the supervision of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council headed by Vice President Noli de Castro as chairman.
The production surge came from the swift relocation of Northrail Phase 1 involving 20,000 families in less than a year, a record in NHA’s over 30 years of existence, Laxa said.
He attributed the efficient and swift relocation to the new paradigm NHA adopted for the Northrail relocation project. “The beneficiaries themselves now participate in the decision for resettlement sites with implementation of the Local Inter-Agency Committee. “Unlike before where resettlement sites were inauspicious for development, today’s sites are close to the original colonies whenever possible,” he said.
Volunteer rates are up with almost zero complaints enabling the staff to focus on relocation and not fending off nasty attacks, Laxa pointed out.
“Another plus is Vice President Noli de Castro who is in the thick of things, resolving issues that are over my head. So it’s faster,” Laxa said.
The Vice President’s presence also encouraged private developers to participate and front-load funds to complete projects that work well,Laxa said.
Priority projects of NHA for 2008 include the completion of resettlement of Metro Manila segment of the Northrail-Southrail Linkage project covering 17,489 units for affected families in Caloocan, Manila, Taguig, Parañaque and Muntinlupa; relocation for North Luzon Expressway Phase 2 project covering 3,041 families; and assistance to 31,002 families in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 affected by typhoons Reming, Seniang and Paeng under the Calamity Assistance and Rehabilitation Effort.