BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio City government was able to map about 60 percent of Baguio’s informal settlers on protected areas and identified city land needs dreaming to generate a registry to identify priority beneficiaries of socialized housing projects. This is in preparation for possible socialized housing developments funded by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) similar to the ongoing construction of the Luna Terraces Housing project in Irisan with 270 units.

Architect Donna Tabangin of the City Planning and Development Office, leading the mapping of informal settlers in close coordination with several departments, said they were able to map about 866 families
living along fault lines, river and creek easements; 175 within the buffer zone of the Loakan Airport; 605 in Busol watershed; and, 277 families listed by the units of the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

The lists will still be subjected to further assessment, validation and geo-tagging by the CPDO using the Geographic Information System (GIS) and the digital twin which is a virtual representation of natural covers and structures. The list likewise be cross-matched on the data gathered through the Community-Based Monitoring System project. Tabangin said that they have been working with the barangays in data gathering of informal settlers in the city, however, certain barangays in the city refused to submit their list of informal settlers.

The team is yet to assess and validate informal settlers within the public cemetery reservation, the slaughterhouse compound, the sewerage treatment plant area and other forest reservations and properties identified as city land needs. “We need to complete our registry of informal settlers in the city to serve as our basis in planning and identifying who are our priority beneficiaries on socialized housing projects. We
hope that once we complete the registry of informal settlers, this will no longer increase,” Tabangin explained.

The NHA defines informal settler families as: those residing in danger areas such as waterways and road-rights of- way; those to be displaced from sites earmarked for government infrastructure developments; those affected by calamities for relocation to safer areas; those subject of court orders for demolition and

Section 16 Article V of Republic Act No. 7279 or the Urban and Development Act listed the following qualifications to be considered for housing assistance as: Filipino citizen of legal age; underprivileged and homeless citizen whose average monthly income or combined family income falls within the poverty threshold as defined by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) at P168,108.00 per year for a family of five; does not own any real property whether in the urban or rural areas and must not have been a beneficiary of any government housing program except those in leasehold or rental arrangements; not professional squatter nor a member of a squatting syndicate; and, head of the family.

Artemio A. Dumlao/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon