Friday, 9 April 2010

Metro Manila Mayors Formally Approves MMDA Housing Project

Metro Manila mayors on Thursday formally approved the immediate construction of the housing project of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in Cavite, boosting the hopes of thousands of MMDA rank-and-file employees who have no financial means to have their own decent homes.

The 17 mayors of Metro Manila composing the Metro Manila Council (MMC) unanimously approved MMDA Resolution No. 10-03 Series of 2010 empowering the agency to use its funds for the construction of the PGMA-MMDA Village in Sitio Paligawan Matanda in Carmona, Cavite.

MMC is the policy-making and governing body of the MMDA.

“This is good news for our beloved employees. With the support of the council, we can now begin construction works and hand out land titles to qualified employees,” MMDA Chairman Oscar Inocentes said.

The MMC, Inocentes said, recognized the need to provide affordable housing units to low-salaried MMDA employees, majority of whom have no house of their own.

The PGMA-MMDA Village is to be constructed at a 65.9 hectare property of the agency in Carmona, which used to be a sanitary landfill. The MMDA has submitted the required landfill closure plan to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the issuance of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).

At least 53.8 hectare portion of the property has been determined to be suitable for a residential village, according to Inocentes.

The then Metropolitan Manila Commission (MMC) acquired the land on December 23, 1985, and which was utilized as a sanitary landfill from May 23, 1993 to March 31, 1998.

Last March 15, the agency has started handing out Certificates of Award to employee-beneficiaries. Job Order employees are entitled to 50 square meter lot each, permanent employees, 75 sqm, and ranking officials, 100 sqm each.

The MMDA has about 8,000 employees.

The PGMA-MMDA Village is the first socialized housing program in the agency’s history and was fast tracked by Inocentes upon his assumption to office last November.

Inocentes said he initiated the implementation of the housing program for MMDA employees in line with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s vision of providing low-income state workers with decent and affordable housing.

“President Arroyo has time and again said that socialized housing for the urban poor and low-salaried government employees should be prioritized,” the MMDA chairman said.

While the PGMA-MMDA Village is still being built, the MMC also authorized the MMDA to award 50-square meter lot to every qualified employee provided the lot shall not be sold or transferred to anyone except the legal heirs of the awardees.

Inocentes said the PGMA-Village will have complete facilities such as school, church, and medical clinic. At present, the MMDA has paved the access road leading to and from the site and is currently installing water and power connections.

Meanwhile, the Metro Manila mayors also approved the agency’s proposed P3.5 billion budget for 2010, which will be submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for review and approval.

The appropriated funds will be used for the operation of the MMDA in 2010, according to Inocentes.

The agency’s Solid Waste Management Office (SWMO) and Traffic and Transport Management Office (TTMO) will get the biggest share in the proposed budget, with P1.2 billion and P1.1 billion, respectively.

SWMO manages garbage disposal facilities of the MMDA while TTMO is the agency’s central traffic management arm.

Inocentes said the personal services, maintenance and other operating expenses of all the MMDA departments have been carefully studied by the Committee on Appropriation of the MMC.

“To accelerate the socio-economic growth of Metro Manila, we need to properly tap all available sources of revenue and that funding support shall be given to our priority programs and projects,” Inocentes added.

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