Children enjoy the playground near their homeNot all relocation operations end up in bloodshed and tears. Some even end up in smiles. This was seen in the resettlement of the first batch of 20 families living beside Estero de Pandacan in Paco, Manila. Through ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.’s (AFI’s) Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP), the families were relocated to the BayaniJuan Southville 7 site in Calauan, Laguna comanaged by the National Housing Authority and AFI.
KBPIP officials believe their success stemmed from the kapitbisig with different agencies.
This relocation operation alone involved KBPIP staff doing the census of informal settlers with the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, mapping of informal structures, and organizing the community and concerned agencies.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines loaned trucks, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority demolished informal structures and provided additional trucks, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided grocery packs for the families. The city of Manila pitched in for the structural mapping and additional trucks while HM Transport offered free bus rides to Laguna.
This public-private partnership was able to relocate 1,324 families from different waterways in Metro Manila to BayaniJuan.
“AFI’s goal was to relocate a thousand families each year, but because of typhoon Ondoy in 2009, the government was forced to relocate close to 4,000 families that were displaced in Pasig,” said BayaniJuan project director Girlie Aragon. “At present we have more than 5,000 families living at the site.”
Through a P40-million grant from the Department of Energy, electrification by Meralco started in October 2011. The Asian Development Bank’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction has also approved a $1.5M grant to improve basic services for BayaniJuan (see related story).
Through its partnerships with private and public institutions, it looks like AFI will go a long way in helping rebuild the lives of former estero dwellers.
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