[ manilastandardtoday.com ] September 30, 2011
by Rey T. Salita
THE construction of single detached residences will be banned in Metro Manila to optimize land use, Vice President Jejomar Binay told the Senate on Thursday.
“We will start to regulate residential land use. We will have to go vertical and start constructing multi-story houses to maximize the remaining spaces,” said Binay, head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
Antonio Bernardo, head of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, said the consultations with local government executives would be finished within the year, and the final draft of the policy would soon be out and might include private subdivisions.
“As far as government housing is concerned, we will only construct, finance and guarantee medium- rise buildings, and if the local government units will recommend, the regulation will also apply to private subdivisions.” Bernardo said.
Binay said Singapore and Malaysia had been regulating urban land use and were successful in optimizing the use of the available space in the populated areas.
“Valenzuela already has a pilot project in place,” Binay said.
“They have constructed a community on medium- rise buildings and optimized limited space for other facilities and recreation, day care and multi-purpose enclosures.”
Binay said the relocation of squatters would also be done “in-city” as most of those who had been relocated outside Metro Manila had merely returned to squat in congested areas.
“We have constructed 5-story mass-housing facilities with 20-square-meter units,” he said.
“We will give priority to relocate those from Lupang Arenda.”
Lupang Arenda is a relocation site in Tanay, Rizal, that has proved to be prone to flooding in the typhoon season as it has become a natural catch basin for the overflow spills from Laguna Lake.
Binay said the Housing Council was aiming to provide low-cost housing to 580,000 families in Metro Manila.
He said the Pag IBIG fund had made P5 billion in calamity loans available to members whose houses were damaged by typhoon Pedring. The releases would be equivalent to 80 percent of a member’s accumulated savings.