House addresses concerns on Manggahan Floodway

The House committee on housing and urban development chaired by Rep. Alfredo Benitez (3rd District, Negros Occidental) resumed its hearing on the implementation of Proclamation No. 458, which has earmarked for socialized housing certain portions of land located along the Manggahan Floodway, in the city of Pasig and municipalities of Cainta and Taytay in the province of Rizal, where some informal settler-families are currently staying.

During the hearing, Benitez underscored the need to determine what policy should be established to address the issues and concerns of the parties involved.

The committee earlier created a sub-committee to monitor the full and effective implementation of, among others, Proclamation No. 458 series of 1994, of which Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte (6thDistrict, Quezon City) was designated chairman.

Belmonte, also committee vice chairman, said during the hearing that the committee had previously appealed to Pasig City Mayor Robert Eusebio to defer the implementation of the demolition order against the 395 informal settler-families living along the Manggahan Floodway in Pasig City.

He said the committee also requested the Pasig City government to temporarily admit the 395 qualified families in one of its relocation buildings in Eusebio Bliss Village on a rental basis until their transfer to the National Housing Authority's Low Rise Building (LRB) Housing Project in Pasig.

Likewise, Belmonte said the committee appealed to the said families, who are members of the Alliance of Peoples' Organization Along Manggahan Floodway Pasig (APOAMFP), to accept such an agreement. Belmonte said the committee requested the Pasig City Urban Poor (PCUP) not to deny the Pasig City government the necessary Certificate of Compliance in case the city government defers the implementation of the eviction order against the 395 APOAMFP families.

He said further that the House panel also asked the PCUP to facilitate a meeting between the NHA and the APOAMFP in order to thresh out the issues relative to the sales contract between the two parties, problems in low-rise buildings, and additional qualification requirements.

Belmonte informed the committee that Eusebio has responded positively its request by agreeing to accommodate the 395 beneficiaries.

Eusebio also requested the committee's assistance in drafting the Memorandum of Undertaking (MOU) between the city government and the APOAMFP, according to Belmonte.

This hearing seeks to address the following issues: (1) the clamor for the issuance of patent for the Taytay portion of the Manggahan Floodway, a matter which was not substantially discussed in the mother committee due to lack of time; (2) the language of the proposed Memorandum of Undertaking (MOU) which the concerned parties would refine and finalize; and (3) report on the meeting facilitated by the PCUP on the language of the contract entered between the NHA and the APOAMFP, Belmonte said.

Engr. Ma. Theresa Siat, Manager of NHA-East Sector, reported the following: (1) 180 of the 395 member-families of APOAMF would transfer to NHA's Low Rise Building (LRB) Housing Project in Pasig City by the end of July 2017; (2) the relocation site for the remaining qualified member-families of APOAMF would be ready by December 2017; (3) NHA would issue a certificate of unit allocation for each of the qualified member-families of APOAMF to ensure accommodation in the NHA's LRB Housing Project.

Meanwhile, Engr. Josenar Caparas, Head of the Urban Poor Affairs Office of Pasig City, informed the committee about the following: (1) Pasig City would accommodate the remaining 215 member-families of APOAMF in Eusebio Bliss Medium Rise Building on a rental basis until their transfer to the NHA Low Rise Building Housing Project; (2) Pasig City announced that it was giving the concerned families to voluntarily demolish their respective structures until August 15, 2017, after which the Pasig City government would implement a clearing operation; (3) the draft MOU was already reviewed by the concerned agencies and parties and that it would already be signed by them on July 18, 2017.

Upon the directive of the ad hoc subcommittee, Caparas promised to submit in two weeks a copy of the signed MOU.

Source: House of Representatives

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