Content Header
“No Vote, Ibot” No More (Ending the political bondage in resettlement areas by providing security of tenure)
When elections drew near in Cagayan de Oro City, landless Kagay-anons feared losing their homes since their tenure was dependent on the incumbent city mayor. The culture of “no vote, ibot (evict)” forced informal settlers into patronage politics for fear of losing their homes since they were only given certificates of occupancy instead of legal land titles.
In 2015, the city government launched the Emancipation of the Piso-Piso Beneficiaries Program to address this issue, with the aim of issuing legal land titles to 5,036 households in 32 resettlement areas. The beneficiaries will pay the acquisition cost of the property either in full or on installment basis. The amount from the repayment of acquisition cost given by the beneficiaries will be used to buy other properties to serve another set of informal settlers. As of the first quarter of 2018, fifteen of the 32 resettlement areas were transferred to the city government, and 840 households have been given their own titles. As of October 2018, three additional properties were transferred to the city, for division and distribution of titles to beneficiaries.
Acknowledging that the housing needs of the city needed the collective effort and active participation of the constituents, the city government called on all stakeholders for the Cagayan de Oro Housing Summit to address the housing problem and synergize efforts of all sectors in the city. The summit produced a Manifesto of Support signed by different groups that identified seven major areas of concern: (1) Security of Tenure; (2) Land Acquisition, Development, and Housing Construction; (3) Livelihood and Employment; (4) Health, Education, and Environment; (5) Public Safety and Peace and Order; (6) Infrastructure and Basic Services; and (7) Creation of the City Housing Department and Strengthening the Homeowners Associations (HOAs).
The results of the Housing Summit allowed the city government to align the objectives of the program to effectively meet the needs of the beneficiaries. Orientation workshops on the process of land titling were conducted to build support and understanding around the program. The program provided clear procedures on the land titling process that guided program implementation. To achieve the program’s objectives, the Task Force for the Emancipation of Piso-Piso Beneficiaries (TFEPB) served as the platform for various government agencies such as the HUDCC, NHA, Registry of Deeds as well as representatives from local offices and other line agencies, to coordinate and work together in the processing of land titles. The TFEPB also mobilized experts such as geodetic engineers, assessors, real estate experts, community development specialists, land-use planners, and researchers to provide necessary technical inputs in the land titling process. To sustain the program, the functions of the TFEPB will eventually be turned over to the City Housing and Urban Development Department.
Mentoring of homeowners association officers on the land titling process was also conducted to deter them from availing services of fixers. The involvement of the homeowners associations helped build ownership around the program and has resulted in the active participation of the informal communities in the program. With original land titles in the hands of informal settlers, the program has made informal settlers truly Kagayanons who lead meaningful and dignified lives, and let them become productive partners of the city government.
Building safe, smart, and sustainable communities
Back to top
logo
Connect with us.