10 years, P130 billion needed to relocate Metro squatters

Written by Joel San Juan / Reporter

Sunday, 18 October 2009 22:17

THE Metro Manila Interagency Committee on Informal Settlers (Mmiac) said it will take 10 years and a budget of at least P13 billion a year to relocate the more than half a million squatter families, including those living in dangerous areas in the metropolis.

The Mmiac report was included in the compliance report submitted by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to the Supreme Court in line with its directive to clean up the Manila Bay.

Based on the Mmiac report, about 21 percent or 544,609 of the 2.6 million households in Metro Manila are living in squatter colonies.

Out of 544,609 squatter families, 19 percent or around 75,000 are living in dangerous areas such as riverbanks, estero, under bridges, roadways or sidewalks and aqueducts.

The Mmiac said these squatter families as well as those affected by the implementation of government infrastructure projects would be prioritized in the implementation of its 10-year housing program.

Under the program, the government needs to produce 305 socialized- housing units per day or an additional 30,859 units per year over the current production of 30,141 units.

Thus, the total funding requirement for the 10-year program for both socialized- and commercial-housing needs in Metro Manila is estimated at P13.75 billion per year.

For socialized or public housing alone, the Mmiac said the total requirement is estimated at 22,689 units, with a funding requirement of P3.225 billion per year.

Specifically, the government needs to produce additional 14,922 units every year in addition to the current production of 7,767 units.

It further disclosed that the development of “off-site/off-city resettlement areas” will cost the national government P200,000 just to resettle one squatter family in relocation areas like Calauan, Laguna.

For commercial or private housing, the total requirement is estimated at 26,323 units, or a funding of P10.525 billion per year.

It also pointed out that another option, the development of the so-called medium-rise housing, is a more expensive proposition as the government has to spend P800,000 to P1 million per unit per family.

“The provision of shelter for the ever-increasing informal settlers in Metro Manila remains a challenging task for the government, but it is not an impossible job,” the report said.

The Mmiac was established in 2007 to help the government deal with Metro Manila’s perennial squatting problem.

It is composed of the MMDA, Housing and Urban Development and Coordinating Council, National Housing Authority, Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor, Commission on Human Rights, Caritas Manila, and various urban-poor offices in Metro Manila.