House approves LGU-led resettlement program on final reading

MANILA-- The House of Representatives has approved on final reading a measure which seeks to establish a local government resettlement program implementing an on-site, in-city, or near-city strategy for informal settler families in accordance with a people's plan.

With 222-0 votes, the lower chamber approved House Bill 5347, otherwise known as the Local Government Unit Led On-Site, In-City or Near-City Resettlement Act.

HB 5347 also mandates the relocating local government unit (LGU) to provide other basic services and livelihood components in favor of the recipient LGU.

The said bill seeks to amend the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 or Republic Act 7279.

Under the bill, beneficiaries of the resettlement program shall be prioritized in the skills and livelihood training, livelihood programs, and livelihood loans of concerned government agencies.

These agencies include the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Philippine Trade and Training Center.

The people's plan, primarily formulated by the beneficiary-association, shall contain a site development plan as well as community health, sanitation, and security plans; and non-physical development components such as self-help housing cooperative, livelihood, self-help development, capability building.

The people's plan shall also provide for the allocation of socialized housing units that promote and protect the welfare of the elderly, persons with disability, and children.

Also a vital component of the people's plan is the relocation plan which shall ensure safe affordable, decent, and humane condition of relocation; provide adequate social preparation; and prevent forced eviction.

The measure delegates the LGUs with the primary responsibility of implementing the resettlement of affected informal settler families in their respective localities.

The LGU implementing the resettlement may source funding for the basic services and facilities form the 20 percent of the Internal Revenue Allotment appropriated for development projects under the Local Government Code of 1991.

The bill further states the principles and provisions of the Act shall be incorporated in the National Shelter Program of the government.

Source: Philippines News Agency