19 February 2014. President Benigno Aquino III graced the presentation of the first urban on-site medium-rise building model unit through a people’s plan today at Claro M. Recto High School, Legarda, Sampaloc, Manila. It was also attended by DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, Urban Poor Associates the partner NGO for the project and Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Legarda, the people’s organization and the beneficiaries of the micro Medium Rise-Building.
The first urban poor on-site housing is a national government program in pursuit of providing decent housing in the city for poor people instead of relocating them far from the city when there is need of removing them from danger areas. The housing design was conceptualized by the green architect Felino Palafox and put into work by Architect Albert Zambrano of Mapua Institute of Technology, School of Architecture. The house is set three meters back from the estero. It is energy efficient and resistant to floods, liquefaction and earth shaking.
UPA point out that people build the city as this is the first housing that was made possible through a people's plan, the people secured the architects who made the plan and the people worked with the government to get all the licenses and funding. Some 105 families will benefit.
Filomena Cinco, President of Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Legarda said, "We are very happy that finally after five years our homes are built along the Estero De San Miguel, where we have lived for more than 20 years. Finally, our pains, tears and struggled turned into sweet victory-- the model housing unit is an inspiration for all informal settlers dreaming of decent and affordable shelter."
Cinco added, "We will do everything to make our community peaceful, healthy, and clean to continue become a model of hope that things can be done as long as we, poor people are united and organized."
Alicia Murphy, field director of UPA said, "pushing for on-site housing took a lot of hard work of the people's organization. NML unity was tested and harassed through those years of struggle to attain land tenure security. This work shows that housing can be done in the city through collaboration between people's group and the government. The project reflects the vision of the Late Secretary Jesse Robredo and has been whole-heatedly supported by Secretary Mar Roxas, Secretary Dinky Soliman and President Noynoy Aquino."
Murphy concluded, “we are hopeful that this housing will be imitated in other urban poor areas and in the three priority esteros, Estero de Quiapo, Estero de San Sebastian and Estero de San Miguel-P.Casal, so that we can have a healthier workforce through decent and affordable housing."