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P10-b urban resettlement project set

By Macon Ramos-Araneta | Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:01am
About 160 families living along the stretch of Estero de San Miguel in Manila will move to their own homes under the P10-billion resettlement program of the Aquino administration for the urban poor.

Yesterday’s groundbreaking was led by Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Social Welfare and Social  Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman that began with the laying of the time capsule for the community  with houses designed by urban masterplanner Architect Felino Palafox and adapted by Architect Albert Zambrano of Mapua Institute of Technology School of Architecture, Industrial Design and the Built Environment.

Since 2009, members of the “Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Legarda” and other groups have opposed off-city relocation, according to Barangay Chairwoman Filomena Cinco.

“We exhausted all possible means in our push for on-site housing. For the past years, we were subject to eviction and we even experienced a terrible fire that consumed all our meager resources,” she said. “Now, we can finally see that all of our sacrifices bear fruit,” she said.

Maryjane Delatavo, a resident of Estero De San Miguel who has eight children, wrote a letter to President Benigno Aquino III saying, “I can now sleep soundly at night together with my children.”  She hung the message on a Ipil-Ipil tree at the site.

Cinco said the model community will be replicated in other localities to benefit marginalized urban folk.

“We are overwhelmed with joy and tears and we will continue to look to the smallest details of the construction,” she said.

Cinco said they put up simple policies “to maintain the beauty of our future houses, like no one can hang clothes outside the house. Everyone has the obligation to the cleanliness of the surroundings, especially the estero.”

She said the urban poor should not be treated as the problem but victims of urban blight.
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