Pro-poor Program and Sendong (Part 3)

All those who have been settled in Tent Cities 1, 2, 3, and 4 in Calaanan may not necessarily be given priority automatically for the permanent shelters that will be provided by the city government. Before the final turn-over of the permanent relocation units, all those who are now in the temporary shelters will again undergo a final verification and validation by the Estate Management Division (EMD) and City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD).

Like the initial process of picking the beneficiaries for the temporary shelters, the structure owners (as opposed to renters) will be given priority for the occupancy of the permanent relocation units through ‘raffle’. If there had been ‘renters’ who got through and were given temporary shelters earlier perhaps via questionable means, the EMD will now ensure that it will never happen again during the distribution of the permanent homes.

“All those who were affected by the typhoon should not worry because everyone will be given permanent homes,” Mayor Emano assured all Sendong-affected citizens.

The City Government’s permanent relocation is located in Phase 3 within the 63 hectare land alloted for Mayor Emano’s pro-poor Piso-Piso program (now Singkwenta-Singkwenta). From this 63 hectares, the Mayor has set aside 9 hectares for the relocation of the typhoon Sendong victims.

Back in 1998, this 63 hectare lot in Calaanan was bought by the city through Mayor Emano in the amount of P101,536,800.00 in accordance with City Ordinance Number 6647-98.

The lot which the Mayor allocated for his pro-poor projects has macadam surface pavement roads, open CHB-lined drainages system canals, individual septic tanks in Phase 1, level III water connection through the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD), individual electrical connection serviced by the Misamis Oriental Rural Electric Services Cooperative (MORESCO) and has community facilities such as open spaces for parks and playgrounds, day care center, community stage and covered court, Kalahi Training Center, PUJ terminal and mini-market.

Presently, the 9-hectare Sendong relocation in Phase 3 already has 8 completed quadruplex houses constructed by the Oro Habitat for Humanity and more or less 15 other quadruplex structures laid out. Each quadruplex unit accommodates 4 family-beneficiaries.

Habitat for Humanity pointed out that the 300 houses may be completed within 3 months. The City Mayor estimated that there will be more than enough houses because aside from the 1,750 houses the Habitat is building and the 500 houses by the local government, the Filipino-Chinese Community will be donating 1,500 houses where 300 of these shall be initially constructed soon.

The business tycoon Lucio Tan has also pledged to build 600 houses, and more generous parties are giving their pledges to the mayor.

In spite of issues about possible dangers or that the area has geo-hazards because it is surrounded by 3 creeks, Mayor Emano clarified that some national officials expressed favorable impressions about the relocation area after being inspected by Vice President Jejomar Binay, DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, among others.

“They like our relocation site. DPWH Secretary Singson assured that the banks of the creeks near the site will be rip-rapped and a bridge will be built there,” the mayor said.

The permanent relocation site in Calaanan is 8 kilometers southwest of the city proper and easily accessible through fully concreted roads. PUJ fare from Cogon is P14, P12 from Divisoria, and P10 from Carment, vice versa.