A year after it completed the 890-unit Disiplina Village - Ugong, the Valenzuela City government is building another socialized housing project, expected to accommodate 3,852 Informal Settler Families (ISFs).
Engr. Mark Dizor, engineering assistant at the City Housing and Resettlement Office (HRO) said the Disiplina Village – Bignay relocation project is now fast taking shape in an 11.6-hectare property in Gulod Street, Sitio Gitna, Brgy. Bignay, Valenzuela City
The official said the massive project would be composed of 107 buildings at three storeys each. The whole project is being constructed in four phases by contractors Tokwing Construction Corp. and Quad Core Construction Development Corp.
Engineer Bizor said housing units for half of the first batch of beneficiaries would be ready for turnover by third quarter of this year. Two buildings he said are already on the second floor stage of construction while 20 others are as well fast rising.
Similar to its precursor, Disiplina Village – Ugong, the Bignay housing units will have 16 square meters of floor space. Recipients can expand this to 27 square meters by shouldering the construction of an 11-square meter loft once they occupy their units.
A memorandum of agreement between Valenzuela City Mayor REX Gatchalian and National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Chito M. Cruz on February 2014 paved the way for the establishment of the Bignay project.
The City Government of Valenzuela funded the acquisition of the sprawling property while the NHA provided P1.2 billion for the construction expenditures.
Mayor Gatchalian said this pushes continuity of the city’s concrete direction towards building safer homes for Valenzuelanos who are living in danger zones.
City officials envision Disiplina Village – Bignay to be a model sustainable community with vital amenities such as barangay hall, chapel, covered courts, hospitals, market, a materials recovery facility (MRF), recreational facilities, schools, transportation terminal and others.
Data provided by HRO show there are 1,008 qualified beneficiaries as the first batch to relocate at the site. Half of it was already placed under the Relocation Action Center (RAC), an activity undertaken by the Local Interagency Committee headed by the NHA and HRO to help them process necessary resettlement documents from March to April.
City housing officials facilitated a site tripping and orientation seminar from January 26 to February 18 to allow beneficiaries to personally grasp the scope of the project and to set personal and family expectations.
Elsie Dulpina, 40, of Gismara Riverside, Gov. I. Santiago, Brgy. Malinta said, “Nung ipinakita po sa amin ‘yung Disiplina Village sa Ugong, doon ko po naramdaman ang excitement na makalipat na kami sa Bignay [Disiplina Village] (“When we were toured in Disiplina Village located in Barangay Ugong, I felt the excitement to be transferred in Bignay”).”
Dulpina is one of the qualified beneficiaries on the first batch list to relocate to Disiplina Village – Bignay. She lost her 12-year old daughter ‘Bingkay’ to drowning at the height of a storm last August 2012.
“Nang mawalan ako ng isang anak, hindi na nawala ang kabog sa dibdib ko tuwing makakakita ako ng kahit na kaunting ulan lang. Iniipon ko agad ang anim na natitira ko pang anak sa loob ng aming bahay, (“Since I lost my daughter, fear grips me when it rains, or even when it just drizzles. I make sure my six other kids are safe inside our house.”),” she added.
According to Rolly Sicabalo, member of the RAC committee from HRO, the beneficiary families were chosen from an NHA census from August to December 2014. All those living within five meters from the river were qualified for the relocation, he said.
In addition, the HRO also set a series of leadership seminars for the assigned block leaders in the new community. The city government believes that this would help the participants in properly implementing the set of rules and regulations for the good of the community and for the beneficiary families as well.
The completion of the project and the relocation of 3,852 family beneficiaries are expected to realize before the end of 2016. This will be the fulfillment of the city government’s target – zero ISFs in 2016.