Urban Poor: Institutionalize the People's Plans Fund

Noel Cano, Sectoral Representative of the NAPC Urban Poor Council, calls for the institutionalization of the People's Plans Funds. 

In December 2010, the government decided to address the need to arrive at a resettlement program grounded on human rights. President Benigno Aquino III issued a directive that created a National Technical Working Group on Informal Settler Families (NTWG-ISF) headed by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) with the participation of government agencies and organized ISFs to come up with a new framework for the ISF resettlement program.

Furthermore, a Joint Memorandum Circular was signed by government housing agencies and other participating agencies to serve as the legal basis for the implementation of the People’s Plans. 

A People’s Plan is a community development plan formulated by a people’s organization (PO), or an independent community, and/or sector-based organization or association to relocate ISFs. A P50 billion fund has been allocated for the program that would resettle ISFs in “danger zones” in Metro Manila.

Aside from ensuring a safe, affordable, decent, and humane housing for more than 100,000 ISFs, the program also calls for on-site and in-city relocation instead of transferring them to areas outside Metro Manila. Should on-site and in-city relocation be inapplicable, near-city relocation will be considered. It should only resort to off-city relocation if earlier options are, indeed, impossible or if the beneficiaries choose to move outside the city. The idea of on-site and in-city relocation ensures that beneficiaries are still linked to their sources of livelihood and that they have access to more employment opportunities.

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