By JASON B. NEOLA
NAGA CITY — In furtherance of its socialized housing program, the city government here laid down once again the cornerstone for the development of a new resettlement site in Sitio Salunguigui, Barangay Cararayan, this city.
The one-hectare resettlement area is can accommodate 116 family beneficiaries whose home lots will have an average area of 60 square meter each.
Among the first beneficiaries are the informal settlers occupying the legal easement portion of the Naga River and a number of families living under the bridges of Magsaysay, Colgante, Delfin Rosales and Tabuco.
Mayor John Bongat met recently with the affected residents to discuss ways and means on how to facilitate their relocation.
Bongat was accompanied by City Administrator Jun Mongoso, UPAO chief Engr. Rolly Campillos, City Budget Officer Frank Mendoza, Public Safety Office head Lito del Rosario and Rev. Fr. Jayson and the punong barangays of the affected areas along the Naga River.
The mayor’s initiative came on the heels of the city’s desire to rehabilitate the legal easements and the river as a whole, in time for the celebration of the 300th year of the Marian devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia in September while securing the illegal settlers’ safety by relocating them away from recurring floods and overflow of the river.
Meanwhile, the enactment of City Ordinance 2009-048, “An Ordinance Condoning Penalties Incurred by the Beneficiaries of the Socialized Housing Program of the City of Naga subject to Certain Conditions,” has earned a lot of enthusiasm and praise among the beneficiaries of the housing program.
For the first six months after its full implementation last February 2010, the Urban Poor Affairs Office has already collected the sum of P6, 429,165.44, which already surpassed the annual collection of the office last year.
The notable increase in collection is mainly credited to the extensive dissemination and information campaign conducted by the office, together with the efforts of the city councilors themselves.
Condonation of penalties will run for two years until February 2012. The condonation ordinance was authored by City Councilor Nelson S. Legacion.