The Technical Working Group (TWG) on the Resettlement of Informal Settlers Along National Highways (RISeNH) was formally organized with the selection of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) VIII as Chairperson and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) VIII as Co-Chairperson and Secretariat during its meeting on 21 June 2023.  The TWG was created by the Regional Development Council VIII through Resolution No. 46, s. 2022.  This was prompted by the Council’s desire to address the concern on informal settlers along national highways in the region.

The TWG came up with an action plan that spells out the specific actions, timeline, responsible agencies/local government units, among others, to carry out necessary resettlement interventions relative to illegal occupants along national highways in the region.

The need to address issue on informal settlers is a commitment of the country under Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 11, or the promotion of access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums, and provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, among others, and in compliance to various relevant Philippine governing laws for the underprivileged/homeless and the welfare of the public in general.

In her message, NEDA VIII Regional Director and RDC VIII Vice-Chairperson, Meylene C. Rosales, stressed that addressing the issue of informal settlers in the region is not an easy job, but not an impossible undertaking with the continued commitment and active support and contributions of all sectors concerned.

The RISENH TWG meeting was participated in by the principal and alternate members from various concerned agencies, namely NHA VIII, DILG VIII, NEDA VIII, DENR VIII, DENR VIII-EMB, Social Housing Financing Corporation (SHFC) Tacloban Branch, and Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) Tacloban, as well as the TWG proponent, the RDC VIII Private Sector Representative for Agriculture and Fisheries, Atty. Roy Bernard C. Fiel.

The RDC VIII Full Council directed the creation of the TWG on RISeNH through Resolution No. 46, s. 2022.

Article by: Meliza Y. Bacolbas (PMED)

Photos by: Jay-ar O. ragub  (PMED)