Press Release
September 2, 2016

Villar says P12.6 billion NHA budget inadequate for relocation

Sen. Cynthia Villar said the proposed P12.6 billion budget of the National Housing Authority (NHA) is not enough to fund the relocation of informal settlers and families living in hazardous areas.

Villar noted that in 2010, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority estimated that 2.8 million informal settlers or 556,526 families are in Metro Manila. Of this number, 104,000 families are in areas identified as danger zones, such as railroad tracks, garbage dumps, and waterways.

"With flooding becoming more and more massive and widespread, more people are needed to be relocated to safer grounds. This budget is not enough. It will not address the need to relocate more people," Villar said.

During the Senate briefing last Tuesday of the Development Budget Coordinating Committee on the proposed P3.35 trillion national budget for next year, Department of Budget and Management Sec. Benjamin Diokno said P12.6 billon will be allocated to NHA for the socialized housing program.

The amount will be spent for the resettlement of informal settlers living in danger zones, as well as housing aid for calamity victims.

For 2016, NHA has a budget of P30.4 billion. The budget adjustment, explained Diokno, was due to underspending of this year's budget.

"It is not the fault of informal settlers if NHA did not perform well and underspent their budget. Families are living in danger zones and they should be relocated to better communities as soon as possible," Villar said.

Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Social Justice and Rural Development, said relocation sites should allow families to have safe and decent lives. It should be situated in areas where they could find jobs or get what they need like the market place and schools.

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