DSWD wants townships for families in danger zones

MANILAThe Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is proposing to establish townships for evacuees affected by perennial flooding and disasters, especially those living in danger zones.

The Pasig River, Marikina River and San Juan River usually overflow, especially during high tide coupled with torrential rains and monsoon rains or "habagat" during the wet season.

Sa tingin ko (In my view), this government really has to do something. Although Filipinos are very resilient na sa nangyayaring sakuna (in calamities), gawa tayo ng townships kung saan yung mga families na ililipat natin from the esteros, hindi na babalik sa dati nilang lugar(Let's construct townships wherein those families who will be relocated from the esteros, would no longer return to their previous homes)," DSWD Acting Secretary Virginia Orogo told the Philippines News Agency (PNA).

Sa isang township na kung saan kumpleto na ang lahat (In a township where everything is complete), such as amenities, utilities, livelihood opportunities, schools and the Church, wala nang babalik (those relocated would no longer return to their former places). Wala namang gustong nasa (Nobody wants to be in the) danger zone, Orogo said.

Yung nangyayaring relocation kasi walang schools, walang trabaho, walang Church, kaya bumabalik pa rin sila (It's because in the current relocation sites, there are no schools, no job opportunities, no Church, hence, they still return), she added.

The government has identified relocation sites in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan and in San Mateo, Rizal, which are both near Metro Manila.

Initial proposal from our end kasi sa tingin ko lang (because in my view), this government really has to address this problem, Orogo said.

However, the DSWD chief said there is still no timeframe to establish the townships or resettlement sites.

Wala pang target date kasi nasa planning stage pa lang (There's still no target date because it's still in the planning stage), Orogo said.

She noted that it would be better to have the billions of pesos spent on relief goods to be channeled to the construction of permanent townships for evacuees from the danger zones.

Rather than spend billions of pesos every year para sa pagdadala natin ng relief goods sa evacuation centers, why not spend it sa pag puput-up ng townships para lahat ng tao na ilalagay sa (in putting up townships so all people who will be relocated in) townships will not anymore go back to their former places, she added.

"Different agencies should converge together, such as the NHA (National Housing Authority), HUDCC (Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council), DOH (Department of Health), DepEd (Department of Education), even the Church, must come to this planning so that maka-pagsimula tayo ng (we can start a) good community for the Filipinos and everybody," she said.

Orogo said they are planning to present such proposal to President Rodrigo Duterte for his consideration and approval.

The only way we can help this government and the Duterte administration is to help out and to finally address the so-called poverty, Orogo said.

The country's poverty incidence is at 22 percent and the DSWD is targeting to reduce it to 14 percent by the end of President Duterte's term in 2022. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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