Press Release
July 11, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today lauded a report of Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. that China has offered to build one million low-cost housing units for poor Filipinos and to put up an industrial park at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga.

Pimentel said if the Chinese governments offer will materialize, families displaced by the construction of the North Rail Project should be among the first beneficiaries. The NRP is largely financed by a $400 million Chinese loan and being undertaken by Chinese engineers.

I hope that Speaker Jose de Venecia has due authority to speak for the Chinese government in this regard. If he does, that would be a good development, he said.

Pimentel said the Office of Bishop Jose Oliveros of Bulacan has called attention to the plight of thousands of families that are being dislocated by the construction and rehabilitation of the North Rail from Caloocan City in Metro Manila to Malolos City in Bulacan and they need appropriate relocation.

Perhaps Joe DV could convince the Chinese government to allocate some of these so-called low-cost housing units for the poor of Bulacan, especially those who have lost their homes due to the construction of the North Rail Project, he said.

The House speaker led a delegation of congressmen and economic managers during a 10-day tour of China to drum up support for the housing project and the proposed industrial park.

According to De Venecia, the proposed housing units would be anti-typhoon, anti-earthquake and anti-termite and materials would cost much less than those imported from Europe and the United States.

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