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Koronadal eyes dev't of idle public lands into resettlement sites

By Allen Estabillo / Philippine News Agency

Koronadal City Mayor Eliordo Ogena (Photo courtesy of the city government)

KORONADAL CITY – The city government is pushing for the development of available public lands here into resettlement housing sites for informal settler families.

Mayor Eliordo Ogena said Friday he has tasked the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) to assess the potential areas and process their titling for the local government.

He said among the initial sites identified by Cenro, through its head Augustus Bretaña, are portions of idle public lands in Barangay Paraiso.

“Hopefully it will become a resettlement area in the near future,” he said in the city government’s radio program “Tingog sang Pagsanyog.”

The mayor, who met with officials of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) on Thursday, said they opted for such strategy due to the high prices of titled private lands in the city.

Instead of spending for the land purchase, he said the local government could use its funds to develop resettlement sites in suitable public lands.

“These projects will have livelihood components and the DHSUD has funds for that,” Ogena said.

The city government is currently developing a 2.8-hectare resettlement housing site in Barangay New Pangasinan through funding from the National Housing Authority (NHA).

Ogena said NHA has approved the release of a PHP25 million grant and a loan for another PHP25 million for the construction of the housing units, which will benefit some 170 families.

The city government has released some PHP13 million as counterpart, which included the purchase of the site, he said.

“The area still has available space for further expansion and we can tap another more than one-hectare site in Barangay San Jose for similar development,” he said.

The housing project will mainly cater to informal settler families that will be affected by the rehabilitation and development of the Blok Creek.

Ogena said the city government will also resettle families in danger zones and those in the road right-of-way of government projects. (PNA)



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