City Council declares socialized housing sites in city

BAGUIO CITY – The city council approved, on first reading, a proposed ordinance declaring as socialized housing sites certain public lands in the city as well as areas identified as city needs that are seen to be potential housing sites which includes suitable portions of the lot identified as multi-use located at Sto. Tomas Central.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. also tasked the City Land Needs Identification Committee to formally identify the proposed areas as socialized housing sites and provides funds for the said processes.

The local legislative measure designated the City Urban Housing and Development board to formulate the internal rules and regulations for the implementation of the real intent of the ordinance within 30 days upon the approval of the said measure.

The amount of P10 million will be appropriate annually from the general fund of the city to facilitate the declaration of all public lands in the city that are suitable for socialized housing as socialized housing sites, including portions of the 140-hectare land in Sto. Tomas Central, which was previously identified by the City Land Needs Identification Committee as multi-use area.

The ordinance is a pro-active measure not only in keeping with the city’s mandate pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 7279 or the Urban Housing and Development Act, but also as an ultimate solution to address the burgeoning problems of squatting in the city.

RA 7279 states that it is the policy of the State to undertake, in cooperation with the private sector, a comprehensive and continuing urban development and housing program which shall uplift the conditions of the underprivileged and homeless citizens in urban areas and in resettlement areas by making available to them decent housing at affordable cost, basic services and employment opportunities, and provide for the rational use and development of urban land in order to bring about equitable utilization of residential lands in urban and urbanizable areas with particular attention to the needs and requirements of the underprivileged and homeless citizens and not merely on the basis of market forces, optimization of the use and productivity of land and urban resources, development of urban areas conducive to commercial and industrial activities which can generate more economic opportunities for the people, reduction in urban dysfunctions, particularly those that adversely affect public health, safety and ecology, and access to land and housing by the underprivileged and homeless citizens.

Section 8 of the said law further provides that the local government units, in coordination with the National Housing Authority (NHA), the Housing Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), the National Mapping Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) and the Land Management Bureau, shall identify lands for socialized housing and resettlement areas for the immediate and future needs of the underprivileged and homeless in the urban areas, taking into consideration the degree of availability of basic services and facilities, their accessibility and proximity of job sites and other economic opportunities, and the actual number of registered beneficiaries.

At present, the city is now faced with problems on squatting brought about by informal settlers over private lands, among others./Dexter A. See


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