Press Release
December 13, 2013

Drilon: Social preparation for informal settlers
key to success of relocation programs

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said today that he has tapped multisectoral organizations to ensure the welfare of about 1,000 families relocated to a new housing project in Bgy. Lanit at Jaro, Iloilo, who were residing as informal settlers along the banks of the Iloilo River.

A coalition of government agencies, non-government organizations and corporate social responsibility groups were invited by Drilon to facilitate the planned "multisectoral social preparation" of the said housing units.

"We have tapped among others the City government of Iloilo, the National Housing Authority (NHA), the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation (GK), and the Philippine Long Distance Company (PLDT) to spearhead a multisector group responsible for the different needs of this newly-organized community," Drilon pointed out.

He explained that the multisectoral initiative set for the housing projects in Brgy.Lanit provides "a workable way where relocated settlers are given help to gradually adjust, adapt and assimilate to their new neighborhood, thus discouraging them from the practice of informal settling."

Drilon said that the multisector group "could be expected to provide the necessary organizational and economic capital to stimulate community organization and economic opportunities, to help transform those living as informal settlers before to members of a truly productive community."

According to Drilon, the social preparation process properly addresses the need for relocation programs to "foster social empowerment and productivity."

"The provision of housing units alone would not solve the problem of poverty and lack of support affecting every informal settler. Any effective plan then would need to strike at the socio-economic roots of the problem," Drilon stressed, adding that the Gawad Kalinga would be a big help in this endeavor given its remarkable track record as a community mobilizer.

The Senate chief also emphasized that the country's public housing and relocation programs should extend to the delivery of relevant social services, which enable self-sufficiency and economic normalcy among relocated informal settlers.

Drilon lastly said that the coordinated social preparation process they are currently undertaking could be studied and emulated as part of the country's official housing and anti-poverty strategy.

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