Thursday, December 9, 2010
THe construction of a low-rise residential building will start after the construction of the dig. The Gawad Kalinga Village project will have eight buildings that will accomodate 60 families.Around 300 urban poor families will benefit from this project
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Homeless rescued from streets The Freeman The Freeman Sections Cebu News
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Government must bring those responsible for the killing to justice, whoever they may be, the Cebu City Council said in a ressolution, drafted by Councilor Alvin Dizon.
Monday, November 22, 2010
These self help projects will facilitate the provision of basic services that will directly benefit thousands of urban poor families, said Councilor Alvin Dizon who sponsored the resolution. The council, in its session last week, also allocated 1 million for a study on the current conditions of socialized housing projects the city government funded in the different barangays.
Monday, November 15, 2010
After Manny Pacquiao's victory, a Cebu City councilor said he wants the Cebu City Sports Commission to build up its boxing clinics in the barangays.
These clinics, said Councilor Alvin Dizon, may help the city discover "the next boxing hero".
Friday, November 12, 2010
Lorega families prepare to bid graves goodbye
AFTER 74 years, today will be the last All Souls’ Day at the Lorega-San Miguel Cemetery, which will be closed to give way to a P13.1-million socialized housing project.
Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon said the closure should have been imposed late October, but the families and relatives of those who buried in the cemetery asked the City Government to extend it until after All Souls’ Day.
In his visit to the cemetery yesterday, Dizon said the exhumation of the bones will start in the second or third week of November.
According to Dizon, they only lack the certification from the Palace of Justice, which is looking into the background of those who have been buried in the cemetery, particularly if are involved in any pending cases.
Dizon said they expect the certification to be released by the Palace of Justice next week.
Of the 3,012 bodies buried inside the Lorega cemetery, 362 will be displaced by the socialized housing project. The bones that will be exhumed will be temporarily placed in a bone chamber inside the facility.
The remaining 2,650, Dizon said, will soon be removed to give way to further site developments.
The City Health Department (CHD) has already posted notices announcing that the cemetery will now be closed for burial.
It no longer meets the safety standards mandated by Section 6, Article 21 of Presidential Decree 856 or the Sanitation Code of the Philippines.
“We have to close this because it is no longer compliant with the Sanitation Code of the Philippines, which states that a cemetery should be 25 meters away from dwelling places and 50 meters away from the water source. So we have to close this to eliminate the threat to public health,” Dizon said.
The actual construction of the project, Dizon said, will start by December and will be finished within six months. JJ&J Construction will build it.
Of the total amount intended to fund the socialized housing project in Lorega, P10 million came from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Rep. Rachel del Mar, while the remaining P3 million came from several non-government organizations.
At least 60 families are set to benefit from the housing project.
Asked about the mode of payment once the housing project will be in place, Dizon said the Local Housing Board is leaning towards having it rented, saying it will be an additional financial burden to the families if a rent-to-own scheme is chosen.
If the houses will be rented, families will have to pay P500 to P750, compared to P2,000 to P3,000 if they will have a rent-to-own scheme, Dizon said.
Payments will be used for the maintenance of the housing project.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
By Fatrick Tabada, Correspondent, Cebu Daily News
The twist is to offer the affordable lodging in urban poor homes, not upscale residences.
Barangay Luz is a good choice for a pilot area with its location near malls, said Councilor Alvin Dizon, chairman of the housing committee and one of 13 city councilors who joined the four-day “lakbay aral” tour to Camarines Sur in the Bicol region.
“This is a very good opportunity to boost tourism and at the same time our urban poor residents will have an extra income,” he told Cebu Daily News.
Dizon said Cebu City officials found out that Camarines Sur's bed-and-breakfast project offers local and foreign tourists a place to stay in resettlement areas. He said many tourists prefer the simple lodging, paying only P500 a day instead of P2,000 or more for a hotel room.
Attention on Camaraines Sur was heightened by results of the 2010 Conde Nast Traveler annual survey, reported in Cebu Daily News front page last Monday. Cebu was dropped from the list of Top Island Destinations, and replaced by Luzon in 7th place.
(Cebu, for four years, ranked 7th place in the international travel magazine's reader-based survey and 8th place for two years.)
The slide in ratings puzzled Cebu officials and even rekindled a word war between Rep. Tomas Osmeña and Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia over leadership and priorities of tourism development.
Osmeña praised Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. for being “very focused” in developing water sports and promoting his province while blaming Garcia for promoting “her face” more than Cebu province.
Governor Garcia, in turn, said Osmeña was spreading “lies” that Cebu was no longer the no. 1 tourist destination, when statistics of the Department of Tourism show otherwise.
DOT official figures show that Camarines Sur drew the biggest number of domestic tourists in the country last year at 1,258,212 with a sharp 140 percent increase in a year's time.
But combining local and foreign visitors, Cebu is still the no. 1 tourist destination in the Philippines drawing in 1,615,982 tourists in 2009. Camarines Sur was close behind with 1,566,447. (See table.)
Councilor Dizon said he'll meet on Monday with the city housing board to discuss his idea of replicating a bed-and-breakfast program by next year.
Dizon was impressed with how Camarines Sur was using tourism revenues for programs to alleviate poverty and develop communities.
“If they can do that, then there is no reason why Cebu City can't do it,” Dizon said.
“This is also a good chance to make the tourists feel the hospitality of Cebuanos.”
He said barangay Luz would be a good pilot area as well as barangay Camputhaw and Mabolo.
Marlyn Paracuelles, president of the Association of Barangay Apas Community Association (ABACA), which has 1,200 urban poor households, said Councilor Dizon called them yesterday about the idea.
“We will welcome the program with open arms. It is another income-generating activity for our urban poor residents,” she told CDN.
Dizon said guidelines can be set with heads of urban poor organizations and City Hall's Division of Welfare of the Urban Poor for the pilot project.
The 13 councilors were expected to arrive to Cebu City last night.
Vice Mayor Augustus Young and Councilor Margot Osmena arrived last Friday.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
By Jessica Ann R. Pareja/JPM (The Freeman) Updated October 24, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (1)
Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon wants all elected barangay officials in the city to undergo a seminar on the Government Procurement Act to prevent irregularities in government transactions at the barangay level.
This develops following the alleged irregularities in the bidding and awarding of some City-funded barangay projects in the south, prompting Rep. Tomas Osmeña and city officials to call for a thorough investigation on the matter.
In response to this, Dizon said he will propose to Mayor Michael Rama the conduct of an orientation-seminar for barangay and youth leaders on the provisions of the Government Procurement Reform Act and its implementing rules and regulations.
“The seminar is designed to provide barangay officials with necessary information for the effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of barangay projects to improve efficiency and accountability in the use of public money,” Dizon said.
Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act was enacted into law to provide for the modernization, standardization and regulation of the procurement activities of the government.
Its policy states that all procurement of the government, in all cases, shall be governed by the principles of transparency, competitiveness, streamlined procurement process, accountability and public monitoring.
Dizon wants the Cebu City Development Council to organize the seminar immediately after the assumption of office of the new set of barangay and SK officers.
Meanwhile, Dizon is encouraging voters to be prudent in choosing barangay leaders during tomorrow’s synchronized barangay and SK elections.
“The barangays is the basic political unit, and it is at this level that we find direct and face to face contacts between public officials and citizens on a day-to-day basis. It is important to elect the right candidates in the coming elections because you will have them as your barangay leaders for the next three years… elect those who will promote transparency and accountability,” he said.
He added that good officials are those with commitment and dedication for the poor. (FREEMAN NEWS)
By Jessica Ann R. Pareja/WAB (The Freeman) Updated October 21, 2010
CEBU, Philippines – All 103 families affected by the restoration of the 10-meter road easement in barangay T. Padilla shall receive at least P5,000 financial assistance from the Cebu City government if the City Council approves the resolution proposed to allocate P835,000 for the purpose.
Councilor Alvin Dizon will propose during tomorrow's regular council session to fast track the release of the funds since the restoration is ongoing and the residents need the assistance badly.
"The Cebu City Disaster Coordinating Council has recommended to extend financial assistance to the affected beneficiaries as the housing materials are not enough to compensate for the extent of damage in the houses that will have to be partially or fully demolished to pave the way for the road restoration project," the proposed resolution reads.
The road restoration in T. Padilla is the response of the city government to requests to make the roads in the barangay more accessible after it was hit by a big fire in August.
Narrow roads reportedly caused delay for the fire trucks to get to the area that allegedly increased the extent of the damage.
"In order to improve the accessibility of the interior portion of the affected area and to ensure proper passageways for emergency situations, the Cebu City government and the lot owners, the heirs of Don Teresio Villa, have agreed restore the 10 meter road easement at T. Villa, F. Villa and the unnamed road connecting T. Villa and F. Villa," added Dizon.
The Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor has identified 103 families whose houses will be partially or fully demolished because of the road restoration project.
Those whose houses will only be partially affected will receive P5,000 while those whose house will be totally demolished will receive P10,000.
Dizon clarified that this will be on top of the building materials that will be provided to them to repair or rebuild their houses.
The city government and the heirs of Don Teresio Villa have already signed a memorandum of agreement for the development.
Mayor Michael L. Rama has also already approved the request to provide financial assistance to the affected families with a total amount of P835,000.
After the city finishes the widening and asphalting of the 600-meter F. Villa and T. Villa streets, reblocking will be conducted to be based on the Subdivision Plan prepared by T. Padilla barangay captain Michael Ralota, who is an architect.
The plan divides the fire-stricken area in 86 slots of 25 to 50 square meters each.
The lots will be raffled to the fire victims who will sign a memorandum of agreement with the owners that they will pay their dues and will not engage in illegal activities such as drugs, wiretapping and other crimes.
The recent fire in T. Padilla destroyed the homes of 786 families with around 3,500 individuals affected. (FREEMAN)
By Rene U. Borromeo/JPM (The Freeman) Updated October 17, 2010 12:00
CEBU, Philippines - If Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and the Cebu City Council will have their way, workers of sales establishments will be allowed to rest after long periods of standing at work.
In last Friday’s session, the Cebu City Council passed a resolution asking the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) to ensure that workers shall not be subjected to inhumane conditions.
Malls and department stores do not allow their sales ladies to sit from the time they start working during the day until they finish their shift.
“Nindot kaayo nang gihimo sa City Council. Malipay g’yud mi nga mga nagtrabaho og department stores kay kapoy g’yud nga magsige lang og barug,” said a salesgirl of a department store in Colon Street.
Councilors Alvin Dizon and Sisinio Andales sponsored the resolution.
They also requested the employers or owners of department stores to allow their workers ample time for rest at regular intervals after prolonged standing.
Andales said prolonged standing, particularly the women, can cause hazards to their health.
“Independent surveys here and in abroad found widespread health problems from standing for long hours at work,” said Andales.
Medical and studies conclude that individuals spending most of the day on their feet are at greater risk for health problems like varicose veins, poor circulation and swelling in the feet and legs among others.
According to Dizon, requiring workers to stand for long hours at work, if not all the time they are working, is inhumane given its negative health effects.
While a mere resolution can’t force the employers to comply with the city legislators’ request, Andales and Dizon said the City Council shall conduct further studies and multi-sectoral dialogues on the necessity of enacting an ordinance for this purpose. (FREEMAN)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
PERSPECTIVE By Cherry Ballescas
(The Freeman) Updated October 16, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (0)
Vice-President Jojemar Binay, as Housing Czar, deserves to be congratulated for his policy to grant loan condonation to BLISS homeowners.
Requiring the owners a minimum insurance payment of over P400 and simple doable procedures to avail of the loan condonation policy earned so much profit, both financial and non-financial, for the new administration.
By allowing the owners to pay a reasonable monthly amortization, VP Binay easily assured this new government monthly collections that could run to millions of pesos from grateful beneficiaries of the loan condonation.
Had VP Binay insisted on the same policy of forcing high interest rates and penalties on homeowners as previous administrations, he would have realized, as previous housing officials had, that the response rate would be very low not to mention the high public resistance and resentment and expensive court fees needed by government to force the homeowners to pay their overdue amortizations.
Unlike previous administrations that imposed penalties and high payments and that refused to extend some reprieve to the homeowners, long burdened by the financial crisis and abusive and inefficient governance, VP Binay's loan condonation policy signaled a new approach, one based on faith and reciprocity between the new government and the public.
Hence, aside from possible millions per month collection for housing amortizations, Binay earned for this new government the people's trust and commitment to meet their payment obligations. Rather than enemies, VP Binay's loan condonation policy has made the grateful homeowners active partners of the new government. A very low-key but meaningful accomplishment by VP Binay for the new adminstration within the first 100 days - not bad at all and one most welcomed!??
Alvin Dizon is also to be commended for his initial accomplishments for his first 100 days as councilor of Cebu City and as Committee on Housing chairperson, Although a neophyte in city politics, Alvin continues to bring his civil society experience to his present job. Before he was elected, he served the urban poor. As an elected official, he continues to serve the urban poor.
He shared that for his first 100 days, he has passed 38 resolutions that included the following approved resolutions: a) exempting urban poor residents under the 93-1 province-owned lots (Bgys. Lahug, Busay, Mabolo, Lorega, Capitol site, Apas and Camputhaw) from payment of transfer taxes to the City of Cebu, b) supporting the passage of Magna Carta for the Poor, the Freedom of Information Bill, the BPO Workers' Welfare Bill, c) urging strict compliance to the Expanded Senior Citizens' Act, Magna Carta for PWD, d) proposing Barrier Free-Tourism and Minimum Wage Increase for Workers, and, e) requesting the National Anti-Poverty Commission under the Office of the President to help Cebu City in its poverty-alleviation efforts and ratifying the Memorandum of Agreement between the Cebu city government and participating colleges and universities under the Cebu City Scholarship Program.
Alvin also reported having passed four ordinances: 1) extending the Contract of the Slum Improvement Renewal (SIR) program for 10 years that will benefit some 3,000 families in Barangays Mambaling, Suba, Pasil and Sawang Calero, 2) adopting the Cebu City Shelter Plan for 2011-2016 that will serve as the guide for all housing programs, projects and initiatives in the the City of Cebu, 3) providing additional NGO representative in the Local Housing Board (LHB) , and, 4) Increasing private sector reps in the Cebu City Historical and Arts Commission (CHAC).
Aside from legislative work, Alvin has also rendered direct services to urban poor communities to cope with their eviction problems with the help of the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor and the office of the Cebu City Mayor.
Hoping that his brand of transparent and accountable public service will become the norm among government officials, Alvin realizes, that beyond the first 100 days, he still has "a lot of work to do in the next two years and nine months," and he "looks forward to working with the urban poor in the next 100 days, and all of the 100 days to follow to make sure that our city will be a better place where urban poor rights and welfare are protected and promoted."
First 100 Days Report of Cebu City Councilor Alvin M. Dizon Chairperson, Committee on Housing
(This report was presented during the First World Habitat Day Celebration in Cebu City on October 4, 2010 at the College of Technological Sciences)
1. LEGISLATIVE WORK
Passed 38 resolutions (samples of approved resolutions)
a) Exempting urban poor residents under the 93-1 province-owned lots (Bgys. Busay, Mabolo, Lorega, Capitol site, Apas and Camputhaw) from payment of transfer taxes to the City of Cebu.
b) Supporting the passage of Magna Carta for the Poor, Freedom of Information Bill, BPO Workers' Welfare Bill.
c)Urging strict compliance of the Expanded Senior Citizens' Act, Magna Carta for PWD, Barrier Free-Tourism, Minimum Wage Increase for Workers.
d) Requesting the National Anti-Poverty Commission under the Office of the President to help Cebu City in its poverty-alleviation efforts.
e) Ratifying the Memorandum of Agreement between the Cebu city government and participating colleges and universities under the Cebu City Scholarship Program.
Passed four (4) ordinances
a) Extending the Contract of the Slum Improvement and Resettlement (SIR) program for 10 years. This ordinance will benefit some 3,000 families in Barangays Mambaling, Suba, Pasil and Sawang Calero.
b) Adopting the Cebu City Shelter Plan for 2011-2016 that will serve as the guide for all housing programs, projects and initiatives in the City of Cebu.
c) Providing additional NGO representative in the Local Housing Board (LHB)
d) Increasing private sector reps in the Cebu City Historical and Arts Commission (CHAC)
2. DIRECT SERVICES
a) With the support of the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor and the office of the Mayor, we assisted four (4) urban poor communities to cope with their eviction problems. Organized quick reaction team to address demolition cases.
b) Endorsed at least four (4) million worth of self-help projects from the different barangays and sitios.
c) Facilitated assistance to the fire victims of Barangays T. Padilla and Sambag Uno.
d) Acted on at least 40 requests for assistance from the urban poor, homeowners associations and barangay governments for city government's action.
3. SPECIAL PROJECTS
a) Represents the City Government in the Gawad Kalinga Lorega Housing Project, a 3-storey medium-rise building project of the Cebu City government, the Office of Congressman Del Mar, DWSD, Gawad Kalinga and ANCE; the first phase of the project will benefit 60 urban poor families.
b) Initiated NGO dialogue to discuss how civil society can help the city's efforts in fighting dengue.
c) Helped organize the 1st Cebu City World Habitat Day Celebration with DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo as guest speaker.
4. CONSTITUENCY WORK
a) Holds regular meetings and dialogue with urban poor groups, homeowners' associationsc and barangay governments to come up with collective solutions to their issues and problems on land tenure, evictions, basic services, and other matters. At least 50 meetings were conducted in the last 100 days.
b) Received a total of 1,590 people in the office with varied problems and concerns.
5. MEDIA ADVOCACY
a) Anchors the weekly radio program entitled “Urban Poor in Action” every Saturdays from 9:00-10:00 AM over DYRC Aksyon Radyo Cebu. Webcast - www.dyrc-cebu.com.
a) Established partnerships and linkages with the following:
- 93-1 Movement in 11 barangays of Cebu city
- Urban Poor Alliance and Bag-ong Politika
- Pagtambayayong Foundation
- Center for Participatory Governance
- Fellowship for Organizing Endeavors
- Kaabag sa Sugbo, Cebu City NGO Network
- Shelter Agencies
- Gawad Kalinga- Office of the President - University of Cebu
- DYRC Aksyon Radyo
- Alliance of Progressive Labor
- AKBAYAN Citizens' Action Party
- Filipino-Cebu Business Club - Rey Calooy
- Kortrijk, Belgium (Sister city)
- Marit Stinus- Remonde
- UP-Cebu Prof. Felisa Etemadi
I think we are off to a good start, but it's just a start. I'm pleased with our progress, but we still have a lot of work to do in the next two years and nine months. I look forward to working with the urban poor in the next 100 days, and all of the 100 days to follow to make sure that our city will be a better place where urban poor rights and welfare are protected and promoted.
Alvin M. Dizon
Cebu City Councilor
Chairperson, Committee on Housing