Block 27 settlers move to Budlaan

Posted on July 20, 2012

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Yellow tents with open sides yesterday greeted 33 urban poor families who were transferred to the mountain barangay of Budlaan after spending a year as evacuees in Block 27 in the North Reclamation Area.

The upland site is a half hour ride from the main road in barangay Talamban.

Virginia Ricaplaza, a 38-year-old vendor in barangay Carreta, said her family is ready to make the best out of their new “home” and start from scratch.

She said she wished the place was more accessible to schools and their means of livelihood in the city proper.

Ricaplaza along with the other families received P10,000 cash aid from City Hall as startup for a livelihood project.

“Kapoy baya magsugod sa uno, pero wa man ta’y mahimo,” she said.

(It’s difficult to start all over again but we can’t do anything about it.)

Five of Ricaplaza’s six children study in Mabolo Elementary and High School.

Karen Iwayan, 40, of San Isidro I, barangay Mabolo walked almost half a kilometer from the lower part of barangay Budlaan to the relocation site yesterday.

To start building their house, Karen, her husband and teenage son cleared a grassy 36 square meter lot assigned to them by City Hall.

Their three children who study in Mabolo National High School had to miss class yesterday to help the family settle in the relocation site about three kilometers from the Budlaan barangay hall.

In Block 27, over 30 families enjoyed free water and electricity for more than a year and occupied tents provided by City Hall.

Alvin Santillana, operations head of City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council said the accomodations are not the same.

“We’re here to prepare more tents whenever they are needed during the construction,” he added.

“The point here is that the city has provided them a permanent relocation site,” Santillana said.

The lower part of the Budlaan site is occupied by Block 27 settlers and other displaced urban settlers.

Santillana said City Hall will ask the Department of Education to allow students in urban schools to transfer to public schools nearer to Budlaan. /Tweeny M. Malinao, Correspondent

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