In line with the Department’s mandate given by the Supreme Court to clean, rehabilitate and preserve the Manila Bay and its watershed areas as well as to prevent the proliferation of Informal Settler Families (ISF) and illegal structures along waterways, DILG R-3 conducted a Consultation-Meeting on the Manila Bay Project on January 13, 2013 at the Municipal Hall of Candaba, Pampanga. It was presided over by USEC Francisco “Bimbo” Fernandez, Undersecretary for ISF, Urban Poor and Other Special Concerns.

   The activity was aimed to give the necessary technical assistance to pilot LGUs namely, Apalit and Candaba in Pampanga and Calumpit and Paombong in Bulacan for the formulation and approval of their respective Local Shelter Plan (LSP) that can easily lead to the access of housing program funds coming from different key shelter agencies. It was attended by the Local Chief Executives (LCEs), Punong Barangays and delegates of the aforecited LGUs. The Regional Directors and representatives of DILG, DENR, DENR-EMB, DPWH, HUDCC, and NHA were also present in the said event   T The group conducted an ocular inspection in Brgy. Buas, Candaba, Pampanga where there is a large number of informal settlers along the Pampanga River.

   DILG R-3 RD Florida M. Dijan, in her message, proudly stated the strong partnership and coordination amongst concerned NGAs not just in this project but also to the enforcement and implementation of environmental laws and other programs. RD Dijan mentioned the 4 components of the project namely Solid Waste Management and Informal Settlers who is chaired by the DILG while the DENR headed the Liquid Waste Management, and Habitat and Ecosystem Restoration. Lastly, she expressed her gratitude to the LCEs, other Regional Directors and delegates for their devotion and continuous efforts to save and restore not just the Manila Bay but also on our environment.

   Usec. Bimbo Fernandez introduced the operation LIKAS (Lumikas Iwas sa Kalamidad At Sakit) which is currently implemented in NCR to reduce and eliminate flooding without sacrificing the safety of the informal settlers by make use of flood control measures. He mentioned that one of the priorities of President Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. before the end of his term in 2016 is for all the ISF who live in the danger areas be relocated to a safe and affordable houses which is also accessible to livelihood. Usec. Fernandez assured the LGUs that the DILG, in close partnership and coordination/cooperation with concerned line and key shelter agencies, will lend a hand and give all the needed assistance to resolve their respective ISFs problem.

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