21, 2013

NR # 3202B

Lawmaker lauds relocation effort in San Juan City
Rep. Alfredo Vargas III (5th District, Quezon City) today lauded the relocation of around 87 informal settler families from Barangay Salapan, San Juan City to San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan. Vargas said the inter-government agency undertaking dubbed OPLAN LIKAS or the Lumikas Para Iwas Kalamidad at Sakit team headed by Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Secretary Dinky Soliman (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and General Manager Atty. Chito Cruz of the National Housing Authority (NHA), garnered a thumbs up from several lawmakers, including himself. “It is no mean feat to implement a relocation project like this very smoothly. I have to applaud the collaborative effort of these different government agencies,” Vargas said. The 87 informal settler families is only the first batch from the 600 ISFs living along the San Juan River, whose shanties are located within the river's 3-meter easement, considered a danger zone. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has identified the San Juan River, Tullahan River, Pasig River, Maricaban Creek, Manggahan Floodway, Estero Tripa de Gallina, Estero de Maypajo and Estero de Sunog Apog as critical areas needing widening. The government aims to remove some 19,440 families from eight major waterways crisscrossing the capital of 13 million people by yearend. Vargas stressed that among the eight critical areas identified by the DPWH, the Tullahan River, which forms the major waterway of District 5 needs to be cleared of informal settlers immediately. “With the positive pilot transition that transpired in San Juan City, I am hopeful that the same will be carried out in our District,” Vargas said. Vargas is optimistic the relocation move to be implemented in District 5 will also turn out smoothly and peacefully as the first batch of informal settlers. “I want to be assured that my constituents’ rights will be protected and full benefits will also be given to them when the relocation takes place in Tullahan River,” Vargas said. (30) lvc