DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 9 Dec) – The construction of medium-rise residential projects that will house the “homeless” families in the city may start next year.
Ivan Cortez, head of the Davao City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), said during interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Monday that a partnership between the city government and National Housing Authority (NHA) is currently being worked out to commence the implementation of the housing project.
He urged the “homeless” families, particularly those who are just renting out homes, to organize themselves to access the government’s financing programs.
“They can group themselves – organize – and then once they are recognized as an organization, that’s the time when we can refer them to the proper financing agencies so that they can access financing programs of the government,” he added.
Aside from providing shelters to the homeless families, Cortez explained that the local government prefers medium-rise residential buildings to “horizontal” development, characterized by single-detached housing units, to maximize the remaining areas of the city for development.
He noted that although Davao boasts of a huge land area, its remaining areas for development become smaller due to “development constraints,” including areas identified with potential hazards due to flooding, landslide, liquefaction, earthquake, storm surge, among others.
“We will maximize whatever is left for development. We will start medium-rise buildings for housing, which are like condo-type. If single-detached, our remaining areas will soon be occupied and will be unable to provide houses to those who need them,” Cortez said.
Around 46,000 to 48,000 hectares out of the city’s 244,000-hectare total land area is available for development, according to Cortez.
“We have identified development constraints for almost 200,000 hectares of the city, which cannot be disturbed at any given time,” he added.
He said that development is likewise constrained in critical watershed areas, biodiversity areas, conservation areas, and agricultural areas.
“In the perspective of real estate development, it seems that the progress in the city cannot be stopped. But if you look at the overall picture of sustainability, these lands that should never be disturbed, will provide us with the water and clean air that we need because we need a sustainable environment,” Cortez added.
He said that these considerations have already been incorporated in the proposed amendment to the city’s existing 2013 to 2022 Comprehensive Land Use Plan. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)