07 November 2016

Sponsorship Speech for the On-Site, In-City, or Near-City Resettlement Bill

Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao’s sponsorship speech for House Bill No. 3936 (On-Site, In-City, or Near-City Resettlement Bill), which was approved on 07 November 2016 by the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development. 

People’s participation in the provision of sustainable housing is one of the legacies of former DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo. His vision, which established a different lens in the implementation of socialized housing projects paved the way for the birth of the Oplan LIKAS Program (Lipat para Iwas Kalamidad At Sakit). Oplan LIKAS was executed pursuant to a 16-point “Social Contract with the Filipino People” of the previous administration which sought “inclusive urban development where people of varying income levels are integrated in productive, healthy, and safe communities.” The program aimed to provide safe, affordable and decent, permanent housing solutions to Informal Settler Families (ISFs) living in danger zones by relocating the affected families in on-site, near-city, and in-city relocation sites in accordance with a “People’s Plan” forwarded by these ISFs. This government program serves as the springboard for the proposed bill.

Sustainability continues to be a core issue of housing projects in our country. Without addressing aspects of sustainability, informal settling would continue to proliferate, and the nation’s investments in socialized housing would be put to waste. In providing the affected families with an avenue to integrate themselves in their relocation process through adequate and genuine consultation and their “People’s Plan”, they become active partners of the government, ensuring that their relocation area meets the standards of safety, affordability, decency, and accessibility, and that the terms of the relocation are agreeable to them as beneficiaries, thus strengthening their commitment to the program. In establishing an “on-site, in-city, near-city” policy for resettlements, beneficiaries are ensured of continued access to their employment or means of income and basic necessities such as electricity and potable water, as well as those essential to their day-to-day life such as schools and markets. The installation of these two concepts which take into consideration adequate and genuine consultation and the proximity of relocation to the original housing site into the housing legal framework is a huge step towards ensuring not just sustainable housing projects, but also sustainable communities.

Even Vice President Leni Robredo sees the need to integrate the People’s Plan and an in-city policy in the provision of socialized housing needs. As mentioned in her speech during the 2016 International Conference on Urban Development last 13 July 2016:

“These projects have shown that not only is in-city housing a viable option, but that much can be achieved when urban poor groups are given a stake in urban development. It is my intention to pursue this program with renewed vigor and expand its coverage, taking full advantage of lessons learned and building on the gains of Oplan Likas.”

This bill, initially filed by Akbayan Representatives Barry Gutierrez and Walden Bello, was approved by the Committee on Housing and Urban Development under the same Honorable Chairman, Congressman Albee Benitez, and approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives last 16th Congress. Under the rules, the same may be disposed of as matters already reported upon the approval of the committee. Let us provide more sustainable housing solutions to the 1.4 million informal settler families through the immediate passage of this bill.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...