GENERAL SANTOS CITY – A realty consultant has recommended the establishment of mass human settlement sites or townships here to effectively address the city’s housing problem.
Lawyer Rey Cartojano, national president of the Philippine Association of Realty Consultants and Specialists Inc., said on Tuesday such strategy will help solve the city’s housing backlog for the poor and at the same time expand the area’s economic potentials.
He said the city has available lands in various barangays that are ideal for the development of new townships.
“It would be better if we focus our resettlement programs on this,” he said in a privilege hour during the city council’s regular session.
Cartojano, who is based in the city, said the local shelter plan showed that around 500 hectares of land are needed to solve the area’s housing problem.
The local government’s housing backlog covers around 60,000 families, with about half involving the “poorest of the poor.”
He said the housing sites should be developed under the human settlement concept, which means that they should have adequate provisions that would address the needs of the target beneficiaries.
These include basic facilities for transportation, health, education, livelihood, and other vital aspects, he said.
It is in contrast with the resettlement areas established in some parts of the country that were usually outside the cities or growth areas and hardly affordable, he said.
“People mainly want to settle in areas that already have the necessary facilities and provisions for their needs, as well as opportunities for employment,” he added.
Cartojano said the city could tap cooperatives to help manage these sites and also provide access to credit and livelihood opportunities for residents.
The housing units should be affordable to the beneficiaries and should ideally be around PHP200,000, he said. (PNA)