Celso bares housing initiatives PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 July 2011 17:00

Mayor Celso Lobregat Thursday rolled out the city government’s intensified housing and resettlement initiatives stressing that his administration understands very well its role in delivering housing services to the constituents.

Speaking before governors, mayors, congressmen and local planning and housing officials from Zamboanga Peninsula and the autonomous regions during the opening of Pabahay Caravan with Vice President Jejomar Binay as guest of honor, Mayor Lobregat said the city’s housing initiatives kicked off in 2005 when he created the Housing and Land Management Division (HLMD) under his office to
look into resettlement and housing concerns in Zamboanga.

From being blacklisted to originate Community Mortgage Program (CMP) projects in 2004 due to dismal collections, Zamboanga is now an active CMP originator with the high collection efficiency rating, the mayor bared.

And to further increase the number of family/beneficiaries under the Relocation and Resettlement Program, the city has already started the development of the former Azcuna property at Barangay Mercedes, the 13th resettlement project undertaken by our administration since 2004, according to Mayor Lobregat.

The site development will include road construction and drainage of the 15.6 hectare resettlement project which costs approximately P43M, which he said, is being done without borrowing a single centavo from any financial institution.

The city government has also initiated the granting of health insurance through the PHILHEALTH to urban poor families who are members of homeowner associations. As of today, over 3,000 urban poor families have received PHILHEALTH cards.

“Partnering with the private sector is also an important endeavor and so last year Zamboanga was the venue for the Bayani Challenge, an international event organized by the Gawad Kalinga, where 800 volunteers constructed sixty-two (62) houses at the Tulungatung Resettlement site,” he stressed.

And to strengthen the resettlement and relocation program, the local government of Zamboanga is undertaking the census tagging and spot mapping of coastal communities and urban poor centers. The project will be used in the formulation of a comprehensive housing and relocation plan.

“These are some of our efforts, however we believe that much more can be done by enlarging, enhancing and accelerating partnerships and cooperation to make housing and community services more accessible for the poor,” the mayor said as he lauded Vice President Binay, who, in his capacity as Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairman endeavors to enable shelter agencies to work more efficiently and systematically to address the challenges in the housing sector.

Pabahay Caravan is being done in the different parts of the country and is designed to reorient/update local government units on the different national housing programs our respective constituents can avail of and, more importantly, on the role LGUs play in the delivery of housing services to the people.

Lobregat added that the Pabahay Caravan signifies what can be achieved through collaboration and partnership between the national government, the local government units and the private sector.
The workshop was held from July 7-8 at the Garden Orchid Hotel convention center. — Sheila Covarrubias