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 informal settler families (ISFs). This has been the framework proposed by organized ISFs for decades but has only been embraced during the Aquino administration.
It was in December 2010 when 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 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.
One of the vital components of crafting a People’s Plan is the social preparation process. This is also where government comes in to help beneficiaries organize and work together to make the proposal. After being organized, the association or cooperative shall identify and secure a sustainable site for a housing development. The next step would be the completion and submission of necessary documents to the DILG and the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC). After approval and land acquisition, site development and construction follow.