New safer cities under study

New safer cities under study

Manila, Philippines -- The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) will lead a study on the establishment of new urban settlement areas to encourage economic opportunities outside Metro Manila, according to Vice President Jejomar C. Binay.

Binay said many Filipinos believe the best opportunities for livelihood are in Metro Manila. This misconception made Metro Manila reach its carrying capacity in a short period, he said.

''We need to reverse this trend. Instead of people going to one location to seek for greener pastures, we should bring the opportunities to them through these new settlements,'' Binay said.

''The inclusive growth that everybody wants to happen will be best realized through the creation of new investor-friendly and safe settlements all over the country,'' Binay said.

"This study will entail a long and very comprehensive urban planning but I believe that it is doable," he said.

Binay said the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change chaired by Secretary Ramon Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) already approved the study on the establishment of new and safer settlements.

''Secretary Paje asked HUDCC to lead the proposed study group and we have accepted the challenge,'' said Binay, concurrent chairman of HUDCC, a member-agency of the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change.

"We shall identify future settlements using new technologies on climate change, such as geohazard maps and LiDAR, to protect our people and ensure that our communities would be out of danger from the effects of climate change,'' he said.

LiDAR or Light Detection and Ranging is the country's first three-dimensional mapping technology that gives accurate topographical information.

Binay said the proposed study will also support the initiative of certain national government officials to find new locations that would promote economic development citing Metro Manila's very limited space.