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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

PRO-POOR HOUSING REMAINS TOP PRIORITY IN QC

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista reiterated on Monday (October 10), in his 2nd State of the City Address (SOCA), his administration’s continuing commitment to pursue initiatives that will address the city’s concerns on housing and urban resettlement.

In his speech, the Mayor said housing will continue to remain a priority program, for which the city government must continuously adopt strategies to help resettle informal settler families in Quezon City to safer grounds.

“Kailangang isaayos ang programang pabahay ng lungsod upang matiyak ang kaligtasan ng may 232,430 na mahihirap na pamilya na nakatira sa mga lugar na ma-peligro,.” The Mayor said.

To date, Quezon City is one of the very first local government units to comply with the deadline set by President Aquino for the submission of its shelter plan which gives QC a five-year framework to define the strategies needed to reduce the gap in the city’s housing needs.

Earlier, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. announced that Quezon City will be receiving the biggest share of President Aquino’s P10 billion housing program for local governments in Metro Manila with informal settler communities.

To meet QC’s housing requirements, Mayor Bautista launched one of the city’s major housing projects during the city’s celebration of the 133rd birth anniversary of the city’s founding father, President Manuel L. Quezon, at Barangay Payatas. Aptly known as Bistekville I, the housing project is expected to benefit about 400 informal settler families, including public schoolteachers in Quezon City.

QC also intends to launch this year the Bistekville II project at Barangay Kaligayahan.

In his speech, the Mayor also commended the 26-member city council for passing legislations that encourage the development of additional housing funds for the city. Chief among these measures is the imposition of the idle land tax beginning January this year and the socialized housing tax ordinance that was approved recently by the city council.

Mayor Bautista said there is also a proposed ordinance that will require private-sector subdivision developers to allocate the same amount of land area or its equivalent for the establishment of new settlements or townships, public-private housing ventures, and even community mortgage programs.

Aside from housing, gains achieved by the Bautista administration in the delivery of basic social services, such as health, livelihood, education, disaster-risk mitigation, environment management and economic development, were also included in the 2nd SOCA of Mayor Bautista.

The full development of the new Quezon City Central Business District is a critical component of the city’s economic development agenda, the Mayor said. Precy/ Ej/ Maureen Quiñones, PAISO

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