Commercial buildings along waterways will also be removed — official

As the government relocation project goes underway, an official from the inter-agency group in charge of the project said structures, including commercial buildings, along waterways will also be asked to relocate.

"Pagdating sa ganoong isyu, ang ating pamahalaan makikipag-ugnayan sa mga may-ari dahil bawal na may nakatira o nakatayo na istruktura sa three-meter easement," Martin Perfecto, program manager of Oplan LIKAS (Lumikas para Iwas Kalamidad at Sakuna), said in a phone-patch interview on GMA News TV's “News To Go” on Monday.

"Sigurado po tayo sa mangyayari kasi bawal nga po, pero kailangang idaan ito sa legal na proseso," he added.

Oplan LIKAS is a government inter-agency committee—spearheaded by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ)—tasked to take charge of the relocation project of urban poor families living along waterways in Metro Manila.

According to NHA, aside from make-shift homes, around 54 other structures within the three-meter easement of the waterways would need to be moved to make way for the government's dredging project against flooding in Metro Manila.

"Three-meter easement palalalim ang ilog, tataasan ang gilid para lumaki ang volume ng kayang dalhin ng ilog," said DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson in a separate interview.

Near San Juan River, affected establishments include two barracks of the Metro Manila Development Authority, a part of Barangay Salapan's barangay hall, Baguio Oil's garage and outpost, and even the home of Salapan Barangay Chairman Patrocino "Boy" Dela Cruz.

He added that the DPWH and MMDA would only be allowed to start with the dredging after the sides of the waterways have been cleared.

"Ang DPWH at ang MMDA ay papasok pagkatapos ng clearing. Kung hindi pa-clear, wala pang magagawa," he added.

Meanwhile, on Monday, about 90 families voluntarily demolished their houses near the San Juan River and allowed themselves to be relocated by the government to San Jose Del Monte town in Bulacan.

"Ngayong araw ang ililikas ay 87 na pamilya na informal settlers. Magsisimula silang bumiyahe ng 10 a.m. papuntang Muzon sa San Jose Del Monte Bulacan, doon ang resettlement site ng NHA. Ang pangalan

ng lugar ay San Jose Heights," Perfecto said.

"Magpapatuloy ito sa Miyerkules. MWF (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) ang sched ng paglilipat. Sumatotal ng pamilyang ililikas mula sa bahagi ng San Juan river ay 606. Ang 606 ay boluntaryong lilipat mula sa gilid ng San Juan river," he added. — Amanda Fernandez and Amita Legaspi/KBK, GMA News

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