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Abalos says Welfareville residents deserve proceeds from site’s sale

by Gigi Muñoz David
[ manilastandardtoday.com ] December 19, 2010
MANDALUYONG Mayor Benhur Abalos said the welfare of the residents living in Welfareville is the local government’s main concern and not the proceeds for the sale of the public estate.
“There is no problem with development as long as the welfare of the people is protected,” Abalos told Manila Standard in a phone conversation.
Abalos added that there had been earlier talks with Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman regarding the site.
He stressed that Welfareville residents have been living in the area for more than 40 years now.
“I must admit that Mandaluyong became prosperous due to our own hard work and cooperation. We have been very consistent that the welfare of the people should come first,” Abalos said.
“It even came to the point that we are requesting the national government that we purchase the land for them (informal settlers),” he added.
There are around 18,000 families living in Welfareville.
Earlier, President Benigno C. Aquino III vetoed the city’s expected share of the proceeds from the sale of Welfareville amounting to P1.5 billion.
A special provision inserted in the 2011 General Appropriations Act would have allowed Mandaluyong City to the share of the proceeds which would have been used to build houses for residents.
“I must underscore that the foregoing proviso contravene Section 2 of (Republic Act) 5260,” the President said in his veto message.
Mr. Aquino cited the law mandating that the proceeds be used to establish “a national children’s home institution and community services for children in various parts of the country.”
The President said Mandaluyong City, like other local government units, was already entitled to a one-half percent tax on assessed value of urban lands within its jurisdiction, and the proceeds of which it could use for a housing program.
Abalos has said the informal settlers living on Welfareville are willing to buy the land where their houses sit.
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