Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Resettlement of Marikina River Bank families begins

Sta. Rosa, Laguna (PND) -- Around 145 of 400 families along Marikina’s river banks have started relocating to their new houses as the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Marikina City shuttled them round the clock to this 35-hectare Southville 4 NHA project.

Karen Dianona, a third year high school student of Fortune High School in Marikina, could not contain herself from expressing her gratitude to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who ordered their resettlement from the river banks of Marikina to this new site.

“She did not really forget us and always looks after our welfare,” she exclaimed.

Although the President was kept by her earlier engagement in Iloilo from attending the event here, Vice President Noli de Castro, who is also chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and NHA, took her place in distributing relief goods to the typhoon victims.

According to Susan Nonato, NHA Deputy Area Manager for South Luzon, Southville 4, covering Barangays Caingin and Pook, was programmed for the displaced settlers of the Northrail-Southrail portions of the Philippine National Railway totaling 5,292 families. But it still has rooms for 400 families of Marikina as committed last Saturday by the President during her Cabinet level meeting of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

Each unit measuring 21.5 square meters costs P175,000, payable over 30 years or P200 per month with a grace period of one year. The monthly installments will not be slapped any interest for five years. But the succeeding years will be charged an interest of six percent, Nonato said.

Lot size ranges from 32 to 36 square meters, Nonato said.

Nonato said there is a provision for two schools, multi purpose center, a production and training center, and a livelihood center (which will be equipped in collaboration with the Philippine Export Zone Authority, the provincial government of Sta. Rosa, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority) to provide skills training for the workers.

She, likewise, mentioned other possible relocation sites such as those in Binan, Laguna with 600 units and the Towerville also in Sta. Rosa with 400 units and other sites.

Nonato noted there is at present a slipper manufacturer in the area and “we will be proposing with the Marikina government to transfer some of the shoe manufacturing equipment to be brought here so the relocatees will have livelihood to earn from.”

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