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Gov’t allots P8.6B to build safe, secure communities

By: Genalyn D. Kabiling

The administration intends to spend an estimated P8.6 billion to build safe and secure communities especially in government resettlement areas next year.

Under the proposed 2018 national budget, President Duterte sought housing allocation for soldiers and policemen, informal settlers, as well as families displaced by government infrastructure projects.

“This administration commits to providing livable, well-planned, and resilient communities, especially in government resettlement areas,” the President said in his budget message to Congress.

“Incorporated in a number of infrastructure projects are substantial funds for the orderly resettlement of families to be adversely affected by these projects by the LGUs in coordination with housing agencies,” he added.

The President said the budget allocation includes P5.5 billion for the payment of acquired right-of-way, especially to those families that will be affected by the Mindanao Railway project in 2018.

In addition, the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor will be given P175 million to help improve conditions in resettlement sites especially in terms of access to basic utilities, social services, and livelihood opportunities.

Another P1.6 billion would be used to bankroll the housing needs of the country’s soldiers and policemen next year.

“We shall likewise ensure that our national protectors are given decent and permanent housing,” Duterte said.

The government also set aside P774 million for the Social Housing Finance Corp. to provide safe and climate-resilient housing solution to 5,287 identified informal settler families next year.

An additional P625 million will also subsidize the resettlement programs of the National Housing Authority, which includes provisions for its socialized housing projects in Maslabeng, Buluan, Maguindanao.