SCSD/SP members and Secretariat during the second quarter 2022 SCSD/SP meeting on May 11, via video conference.

Mayor Lani M. Revilla of Bacoor City shared their best practices on the relocation of informal settler families (ISFs) situated in danger zones during the Second Quarter 2022 Meeting of the Sectoral Committee on Social Development/Social Protection (SCSD/SP) on May 11 via video conference. She said that the city had relocated a total of 3,915 ISFs in their off- and in-city housing relocation area to date. The city will continue to provide direct housing assistance and relocation areas for ISFs, especially those residing within danger zones.

Bacoor City implemented various initiatives to address the issues concerning the relocation of ISFs, in line with the Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 and the Supreme Court Mandamus to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay. Among the reported best practices were:

• reorganization of the Bacoor Urban Development and Housing Board to address the challenges and needs of ISFs
• creation of a Community-Based Monitoring System-Technical Working Group to update data of the 2014 Bacoor City Local Shelter Plan
• preparation of the City of Bacoor Relocation and Resettlement Action Plan 2017-2023, which was endorsed to HUDCC and DBM for funding. The Plan includes housing projects for the resettlement plan of Bacoor City
• coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on the delineation of coastal legal easements to ensure that riverways and shorelines are free from structures that may cause flooding
• partnership with other LGUs and concerned agencies such as the National Housing Authority and Social Housing Finance Corporation on the provision of off- and in-city housing projects for ISFs
• coordination and social preparation to promote self-demolition of ISF structures
• digital tagging, mapping, house listing, and profiling in compliance with the Urban Development Housing Act of 1992.

The SCSD/SP also discussed during the meeting the Arsenic Contamination of Ground Water in Taal Volcano Protected Landscape. Batangas Medical Center reported that long-term exposure to arsenic might induce the development of lung, liver, bladder, and skin cancer. The committee agreed that immediate actions are necessary to address this major health concern, thus directing this matter to appropriate committee/s and/or agency/ies is a priority.

Herbert C. Molinyawe, NEDA Region IV-A | May 12, 2022