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BAGUIO CITY – Mayor-elect Benjamin B. Magalong is pushing for the put up of affordable tenement housing in available areas to help solve the proliferation of informal settlers in the different parts of the city.
He emphasised that the single detached houses are no longer feasible in the city because of the inadequate land area for the said type of houses, thus, people must learn to accept that what will be made available for them is tenement housing.
The incoming local chief executive is setting his sights over a portion of the over 8 hectares that was ceded by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to the local government through a deed of usufruct were the tenement housing will be established that will be beneficial to the informal settlers in the city’s barangays.
Earlier, the local government put in place its local shelter plan that outlines the various programs and projects that will be put in place to address the housing requirements of the people.
The retired police official admitted that based on his consultations with the people from the city’s 128 barangays during the campaign period, the demand for housing is evident but the interventions that should be in place is the availability of affordable units in tenement housing projects considering the inadequate land area of the city for the put up of single detached houses.
One of the ongoing programs of the local government is for the conduct of an inventory on the number of individuals in the city that need housing units so that the concerned government agencies can craft the appropriate interventions that will be put in place to address the growing housing backlog in the city.
People from the rural areas flock to the urban centers like Baguio city to look for gainful employment and sustainable sources of livelihood for them to help in improving the living condition of their families in the countryside considering that life in the rural areas is miserable because of the absence of bigger economic activities in the said places.
Because of the absence of adequate housing in the city, migrants are constrained to build their structures on public lands or in properties that have been titled or claimed by individuals that often result to the issuance of demolition orders that cause their eventual displacement, thus, the need for concerned government agencies and the local government to embrace a holistic approach in dealing with the problem on lack of housing in the city.
Magalong explained that people should accept the fact that what will be made available to them is tenement housing and not what they expect because of the existing problem of the local government on the lack of available lands to put up the desired single detached houses that will be offered to the informal settlers.
While it is true that shelter is one of the basic needs of the people, concerned government agencies and local governments must make sure that there will be decent housing for the people for them to be able to live a decent life in the urban centers where they are employed and source their livelihood for their families.
Magalong said that what is important is for people to have decent housing for them to be able to live a decent life with their families, especially in an urban center with a limited land area.
By Dexter A. See