Monday, August 14, 2006

Comprehensive Housing Program

Puerto Princesa’s vast land area and its rich terrestrial and marine resources have become like magnets that attracted a lot of in-migration from all over the country. They came in droves and squatted in public and private lands whose owners either did not care or know. Majority of them, being fishermen, chose the coastal areas for being closest to their source of income. This went on unabated for many years.

Locate. Identify. Register. This is what the City Government under Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn did to understand the magnitude of the problem of homelessness in the city. After having instituted measures to arrest further squattering, the next necessary step was to find suitable relocation sites, source funding for land acquisition, site development, and housing construction.

Of the 9,500 squatter families so far surveyed in the city, 7,980 or 84% live along the coastal areas of Puerto Princesa Bay, Honda Bay, and Ulugan Bay. And collectively, they have become the greatest polluters of the city’s three most important bays.

That is why when Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn first assumed the mayoralty post in July 1992, the problem of homelessness is one major concern. He pursued a comprehensive approach. Through the City Housing Office that the Mayor Hagedorn formally created on 23 October 1992, a thorough census was conducted to locate, identify and register all squatters, especially those living along the coastlines. As a result of the census listing, the City Government was able to determine who, where, and how many are the city squatters.

Having mapped-out all the squatters in the city, strict measures were immediately adopted and implemented to arrest further squattering. This was primarily done through a simple yet highly effective approach: faithful implementation of the “no building permit – no construction” law. The Council Against Squatting Syndicates and Professional Squatters (CASSAPS) and its implementing arm, the Anti-Squatting Task Force, were established for this purpose. Any and all construction, including those of stilt and “temporary” houses, that had no construction permit from City Hall were stopped and/or demolished.

Then the next necessary step was to fund and construct low-cost but decent housing for relocation. The Sicsican Housing Project at Brgy. Sicsican that is totally funded by the City Government is the beginning of the process. Tired of waiting for the promised housing assistance by the National Housing Authority, the City Government took it upon itself to purchase a 5.4-hectare land in Brgy. Sicsican and single-handedly develop it into a low-cost subdivision. There, 150 single-detached houses were constructed, 170 developed home lots were awarded, and the construction of 110 row houses has just been completed. The project has since become home to 430 families, relocating an equivalent number of erstwhile coastal squatter families.

The project was initiated by Mayor Hagedorn in line with his promise to make Puerto Princesa the country’s model city in kalinisan (cleanliness), katahimikan (peace and order), and kaunlaran (sustainable development). It is also part of the Mayor’s pledge to make no Puerto Princesan homeless or squatter in their own country.

completed and ongoing housing projects of Puerto Princesa City

Brgy. Sicsican Housing Project, Phase I to III- This is wholly funded under the 20% Development Fund of the City Mayor (20% Development Fund).

Brgy.Mangingisda Housing Project – Phase I which involved the site development of 21.6 hectares was funded by a grant from the National Housing Authority. Phase II, involving the site development of 43.1 hectares and the construction of 1,030 units of duplex housing is funded from part of the proceeds of the Municipal Bond Flotation (Green Bonds).

VISAPA Housing Project- The purchase of this 9.0-hectare land was funded under the 20%Development fund of the City Mayor. Site development and housing construction are funded from the proceeds of a Municipal Bond Flotation that was wholly taken out by Pag-IBIG, a government financed corporation.

Golden Valley Subdivision- The purchase of the 8.2-hectare land and its site development were funded under the 20% Development Fund of the City Mayor.

PNS Teachers Village- Funding for the land purchase of this 6.8-hectare project came from the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC). Site development was undertaken under the 20% Development Fund.

San Jose Lomanang Project- Purchase of the 3.0-hectare land was funded under the 20% Development Fund. Its site development is being jointly funded under the Presidential Poverty Alleviation Fund and the 20% Development fund.

San Jose Abordo Project- Land purchase of this 3.5-hectare project is being jointly funded by the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the 20% Development Fund. Site development is funded under the 20% Development Fund.

San Jose Russell Project (Employees’Village)- Purchase of 5.0-hectare land and its site development are funded under the 20% Development Fund.

Saint Mary Subdivision- Purchase of the 6.5-hectare land was funded by the NHMFC. Site development under the 20% Development Fund.

Green Valley Project- Purchase of the 2.6-hectare land financed by Pag-IBIG. Site development undertaken under the 20% Development Fund.

PPA Relocation Project, San Manuel- Purchase and site development of this 3.3-hectare land under the 20% Development Fund.

Typoco Village - The 2.5-hectare land was donated by Mr.Jesus Typoco. Site development under the 20% Development Fund.

Ellenview Subdivision- Purchase of the 1.0-hectare land financed by the NHMFC. Site development under the 20% Development Fund.

Jacana Project- Purchase and site development of this 2.1-hectare project under the 20% Development Fund.

Tagburos Projects (Alvarez and Magay)- Funding for the purchase and site development of these 5.5 and 3.3-hectare projects are under the 20% Development Fund.

Brgy.Princesa Project- Upon the fervent appeals of the 12 families who were facing eviction by orders of the court, the City Government purchased the 1,600 square meters of land they were occupying right in the heart of the city that was owned by the Philippine National Bank. The Purchase and site development (particularly the conduct of surveys, preparation of subdivision plan and titling) were funded under the 20% Development Fund.

Sta.Cruz Project- The site development of this half-hectare land donated by a private individual as relocation site for squatters in a neighboring barangay was undertaken under the 20% Development Fund.

Melwang Project- The purchase and site development of this 1.3-hectare land was undertaken under the 20% Development Fund.

Bahile Habitat Project- The purchase and site development of this 1.3-hectare project are financed under the 20% Development Fund. The construction of the housing units is to be undertaken by the Habitat Foundation and the Rotary Club of Makati-Jose P. Rizal.

Bahile Tribal Village Project- The purchase and site development of this 6.0-hectare project are undertaken under the 20% Development Fund.

Bahile Pier Project- The purchase and site development of this 9.9-hectare project were undertaken under the 20% Development Fund.

BLISS Project- the financial obligations of the 102 family-beneficiaries

Puerto Princesa City Trailblazing programs:

Providing a Low-cost Housing Puerto Princesa City


Providing a Low-cost Housing
Puerto Princesa City
Region 4
1995 - Trailblazing
City-wide
Urban Poor

Puerto Princesa, being the center of trade, commerce, and education in Palawan, has attracted migrants to the city. Over the years, many families illegally occupied private land or squatted along the coastal areas.

A census conducted by the city found squatters in 13 of the 66 barangays, totalling 4,540 households. The overcrowding of squatters’ shanties in these areas resulted in health and sanitation problems, and the pollution of Puerto Princesa bay.

To address the squatter problem, the city embarked on a program involving 24-hour demolition of illegal construction and on squatter relocation. It used the low cost housing scheme in Barangay Sicsican as its model. In this project, the government provided shell houses for squatters to purchase within a monthly 25-year scheme. Given the above conditions, the first batch of 150 squatters voluntarily agreed to relocate.