In-city relocation shows development with a heart

January 25, 2020

BACOOR City – The assurance of Mayor Lani M. Revila of an in-city relocation component of the proposed 420-hectare reclamation projects along the city’s coast, particularly for directly-impacted stakeholders, is among the major factors that helped secure widespread support for the planned development.

The proposed reclamation projects had clinched the overwhelming support of the city’s residents during the public hearing held by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) January 9, 2020.

“Ang pamahalaang lungsod ng Bacoor at ako mismo bilang Mayor, ay may malalim na sensitibidad at malawak ang pangunawa sa mga takot, pangamba at agam-agam ng ilan sa mga kalunsod natin partikular na po ang direktang maaapektuhan ng mga pagbabagong magaganap kaugnay sa usapin na ito,” Mayor Revilla said.

“Inihahanda na natin ang mga resettlement sites dito din sa Bacoor para sa mga informal settler families (ISFs) at mga mangingisda na maaapektuhan po nito. Masasabi natin na ito ay isa sa mga iilang reclamation projects sa Pilipinas na may in-city relocation,” she added.

Last January 5, 2020, the Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB) of Bacoor passed resolution No. 01-series of 2020 expressing support for the proposed reclamation projects in the city.

The resolution, signed by LnB President Reynaldo Palabrica, cited among others that the project “has a concrete plan for all informal settler families (that) may be affected, like decent housing as relocation site within the city and priority for employment in all job opportunities which will be created by the project.”

The Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of the city earlier signified their full support for the projects through a letter, dated November 11, 2019, signed by SK Federation President Mac Raven Espiritu, and addressed to DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu.

The youth leaders declared that the projects would not only boost the city’s economy without compromising the environment but also “provide our fellow Bacoorenos who have been legally or illegally settling at the 20 meters easement from the shores of the Manila Bay, within the jurisdiction of the City, a better living situation through its relocation program.”

The City Government of Bacoor is the proponent of the reclamation projects, namely Bacoor Reclamation and Development Project (BRDP), consisting of a total of 320-hectare islands, and the Diamond Reclamation and Development Project (DRDP) consisting of one 100-hectare island via Public-Private Partnership under the PPP Code of Bacoor.

Better life

Mayor Lani Revilla said a better life awaits the ISFs and fishermen who would be directly-impacted by the reclamation projects.

“Ang ating Pamahalaang Lungsod, at ako bilang Mayor ay magbibigay ng firm commitment na magkakaloob ng better housing para po sa kanila,” she stressed. This commitment was also in compliance with President Duterte’s directive of “no demolition without relocation.”

She said one of the resettlement sites being readied is a property in Molino II that would be called “Ciudad Kaunlaran,” where medium-rise buildings will be constructed with basic facilities and livelihood support programs.

A government center with social services will also be established within the site. Among the target beneficiaries for Ciudad Kaunlaran are ISFs from ten barangays of Bacoor who would be impacted by the project.

Likewise, she said properties in Barangay Alima would be developed into a Fisherman’s Village for the resettlement of fishermen living along the coastlines of Bacoor Bay, allowing the fishermen to continue plying their trade. A wharf with berthing facility will also be constructed for their use.

Directly-impacted stakeholders would participate in the planning of the resettlement package under the Community-based Initiative Approach of the National Housing Authority (NHA), according to Revilla.

As part of the city government’s support system for relocated families the City Government also vowed to bring to the resettlement sites the “Institutionalized Alagang Ate Lani” program, which includes various forms of social services, including job fairs and free livelihood skills training.

“Wala po kaming ninanais na hindi kayo aasenso. Gusto namin kayong umunlad, gusto nating umunlad ang Bacoor at iyan ay galing sa kaibuturan ng aking puso,” Mayor Revilla said.