NHA set to develop resettlement project in SoCot town

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 August)– The National Housing Authority (NHA) has released an initial P1.8 million to set off the development of the P12 million resettlement project in Sto. Nino town in South Cotabato.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, who chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), personally delivered the financial grant to the municipal government of Sto. Nino in a brief stop at the South Cotabato provincial capitol in Koronadal City late Monday afternoon.

“This is part of the national government’s commitment to address the basic needs of our poor, especially in terms of housing facilities,” he said during the turnover ceremony.

The Vice President said the NHA will work closely with the municipal government of Sto. Nino for the development of the resettlement project, which will benefit around 100 informal settlers in the area.

The project will be implemented within the 2.5-hectare unfinished Bliss housing village in Poblacion, Sto. Nino.

Engr. Samson Espartero, Sto. Nino municipal engineer, said the resettlement site was first developed during the early 80s under the Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services or Bliss housing project of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

He said the municipal government was able to construct six housing units before the project was shelved following the 1986 Edsa people power revolt.

“We will be constructing 50 duplex housing units to complete the resettlement project,” he told MindaNews on the phone.

Espartero said they are targeting to begin the construction of the housing units, which would accommodate two families each, within the fourth quarter of the year.

He said the initial P1.8 million grant will be utilized for the mobilization and initial site development of the project.

The official said they are currently working on the posting or publication of the bidding for the resettlement project.

“The process could take about a month so, hopefully, we can be able to award the project contract by October,” he said.

Meantime, aside from the Sto. Nino Resettlement Project, two more socialized housing projects are due for implementation in the province within the next two years.

South Cotabato (2nd District) Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez said the HUDCC and the NHA earlier approved the allocation of around P12 million each for the resettlement projects in Surallah and Banga towns.

He said his office is currently assisting the two local government units in the acquisition of the housing sites to facilitate their implementation by next year.

Aside from these projects, Hernandez said he has proposed with the NHA for the expansion of its resettlement project for the tribal or indigenous peoples (IP) in T’boli town.
He said the initiative will take off from the P10 million “model IP resettlement project” being implemented by the agency in Lake Sebu town. (MindaNews)