By Pat C. Santos
03/13/2010 [ tribune.net.ph ]
Following the national government program of relocating informal settlers in “danger zones” to suitable housing sites, the Parañaque local government unit (LGU) and the Manila International Airport Authority agreed to apply the policy to the families who have built their shanties in portions of the MIAA property adjacent to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport runway.
“Danger zones” refer to sites where accidents or health hazards as well as risks of natural and man-made calamities and disasters are present. They include riverbanks, sea coasts, creek/railroad track/hill/ mountain sides, foot of a volcano or, in instant case, in the flight path of incoming aircraft ferrying international travelers.
The memorandum of agreement (MoA) was signed for the city government of Parañaque by Mayor Florencio Bernabe Jr. and MIAA general manager Alfonso Cusi for the MIAA.
Under the MoA, the airport administration will provide all the necessary basic and legal support and defray the expenses for the implementation of the relocation process and development of the relocation site.
For its part, the city government will provide personnel necessary in dismantling the makeshift houses of informal settlers as well as the transport facilities to convey them to their relocation site. Mainly, however, it will be responsible for site development and general welfare of the beneficiaries.
A task force was created to oversee project implementation. It is composed of the following agencies: Office of the City Mayor; Barangay Government Unit of Sto. Niño; Local Housing Development Office; Urban Mission Areas Development Office; Parañaque PNP and MIAA representatives designated by its general manager.
The 808 informal settlers will be relocated to a developed site in Barangay Merville, also in the city. From this humble beginning, a socialized housing community shall rise, complete with a multi-purpose hall and a school building.
Parañaque City has earned the distinction of having established 30 Gawad Kalinga communities, the second best record among LGUs in the National Capital Region.
“In Parañaque, we do not just build homes and communities. We build lives and better futures for our citizens,” Bernabe said.