[ manilastandardtoday.com ] January 5, 2011
Mayor Guia Gomez wants San Juan to be the first city declared squatter-free by 2015.
About 53 of 103 squatter families displaced by the construction of the new city hall in Corazon de Jesus village have qualified for relocation amid protests of a massive clearing drive.
Public information officer Grace Pardines said less than 50,000 people across the locality need decent housing facilities.
Gomez said she set a five-year target to get rid of squatting upon succeeding in last year’s elections her son Jose Victor, who won the San Juan congressional seat.
She said settlements have been provided displaced families now in Caluan, Laguna along with Rodriguez and Taytay, Rizal province where a site was opened by then Mayor Joseph Estrada in mid-1980s.
“I’m just implementing what is right for the city and at the same time considering the welfare of those who will be displaced,” she told Manila Standard, adding that illegal settlers have until January 25 to leave voluntarily.
Each Calauan row house with a 21 square-meter floor area was built by advocates led by Gawad Kalinga, San Miguel Corp. and ABS-CBN Foundation.
To sustain livelihood and employment, Gomez said the home site was within two kilometers of various techno parks.
With the completion of a new city hall complex next year, a condominium-type tenement would be rise to house legitimate city residents.
As the zero-squatter drive steps up, Pardiness said the city has lined up lots for expropriation in Barangay Batis along San Juan River.
“Market value is only between P12,000 and P15,000 (per sqm) but the owners are asking for P60,000,” she said, noting that lots in certain sections such as Greenhills fetch between P27,000 to P30,000.
Another infracture at the outset of Gomez’s first term is a road that would cut across Saint John Public Cemetery to ease traffic congestion along Ortigas Avenue.
The bypass route to Boni Serrano Street at the boundary of Quezon City will pass through Eisenhower, Johnson and Tyler streets. Gigi Muñoz David