MASBATE CITY: A P280-million housing project intended for 1, 400 families living in “danger zones” in this capital city is underway.
The city government provided 15ha of government-owned, roadside land in Barangay Maingaran as counterpart for the project, which is funded and supervised by the national government through the National Housing Authority (NHA).
Engr Alberto Perfecto, NHA regional manager in Bicol, told Bicol Mail that the project is primarily intended to relocate informal settlers in Barangay Kinamaligan, who had been living in the shoreline and over the sea, which had been deemed danger zones.
“The government is prioritizing Masbate because it’s one of the poorest provinces that need immediate response, based on the assessment by the Presidential Management Staff,” said Perfecto.
He said the project should relocate families living in danger zones to safer grounds.
The memorandum of agreement between the NHA and the city government on the project was signed on June 18.
The first phase of the project would start right after the bidding process, which would determine the rightful developer, or sometime in October this year, said Alberto.
To be implemented in four phases, the housing project is expected to be completed before the end of 2013, according to Alberto.
Phase 1 and 2, which cost P56M each, are for building roadways, and drainage and water systems. Phase 2 and 3, which have a combined cost of P168M, are for the construction of 1, 400 houses.
Added facilities will be a market, a school site, and a park. The NHA, according to Mayor Socrates Tuason, also pledged to provide livelihood assistance “when necessary".
Tuason, in his state of the city address on July 9, thanked President Aquino for the housing project.
The project, according to Tuason, also will benefit informal settlers and those living in the danger zones in the villages of Nursery, Bagumbayan, Espinosa, Ibingay, Centro, Bapor, and Tugbo, although Kinamaligan residents would be prioritized.
Coastal Kinamaligan is one of the largest villages in Masbate City with a population of at least 5,071.
Many of its residents have been living in stilt houses erected on Masbate Bay and without power or water supply. – Bicol Mail