By Charlie V. Manalo
02/13/2010 [ tribune.net.ph ]
President Arroyo and housing czar Vice President Noli de Castro led yesterday the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of 56 medium-rise cluster buildings that can accommodate about 900 families in Disiplina Village, Valenzuela City who were mostly affected by killer typhoon “Ondoy” last year.
According to Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian, the project was initiated to fast-track the relocation of the 1,800 families in the city, most of them living alongside the Tullahan River who were rendered homeless or had their houses damaged after being ravaged by Ondoy.
Gatchalian said the project, dubbed “Disiplina Village Project,” was a joint undertaking between the city government of Valenzuela and private businesses through the Dakilang Handog Foundation, with philanthropist Dee Hua Gatchalian as the chairman.
Under the joint agreement, the city government will provide two hectares of its property in Barangay Ugong with the materials for the development, including the construction of multi-purpose covered court, a daycare center, health center and a livelihood training center to be raised from the private sectors and coursed through the Dakilang Handog Foundation.
Donors to the P100-million project (P25 million for the lot and P75 million for the construction) are San Miguel Corp., members of Valenzuela Chamber of Commerce and Industry, namely, CDO Foodsphere Inc., Splash Corp. and Wellex Industries.
The Valenzuela mayor said they will be able to save around P50 million for the actual construction of the project as the beneficiaries offered their services for the construction of more than 900 housing units on voluntary basis, utilizing the renowned Filipino spirit of “bayanihan.”
Already, the first batch of 48 beneficiary families placed in the so-called staging area within the relocation site, are undergoing training on masonry and carpentry to be provided by Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers.
Each medium-rise cluster building will be composed of 16 housing units with 8 units on the ground floor and another 8 units on the second floor and each unit has a total area of 26 square meters.
Gatchalian said the project is also a manifestation of the city government effort toward its dream of a squatter-free city where Valenzuelaños live in a peaceful and progressive community and with the goal of bringing back the dignity of the poor by providing them descent housing community.
To highlight more the significance of the project, Gatchalian added, they wanted the President herself and the country’s designated housing czar to lead the ground-breaking ceremony that will officially commence its construction.