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Minimum Standards for Resettlement

Posted by urbanpooralliance on August 21, 2007

During the general assembly of the Urban Poor Alliance last July 14, 2007, the body produced a set of minimum standards for resettlement based on the study of UP-ALL member John J. Carroll Institute on Church and Social Issues.

Four major aspects must be considered in providing relocation sites for displaced communities: Site Selection, Social Preparation, Housing and Site Development, and Basic Services.

Site Selection

  • Locations within municipalities and cities must first be considered as possible relocation sites. Only when all possibilities are explored that near city relocation be considered.

  • Resettlement sites must be so geographically sound and away from health and environmental hazards.

  • Resettlement must also be convenient for wage workers. In fact, the impact of transportation costs for wagers must be one of the criteria in selecting a relocation site

Social Preparation

  • General assemblies should be organized at the barangay level with representatives from concerned agencies (LGU, NHA, barangay) present

  • Enough time should be given between the scheduled demolition/relocation and the consultation with families

  • Ideal: 6 months preparation & demolition during summer.

  • Options for livelihood & employment in & near the resettlement site should also be discussed

  • Affected families must be represented in committees form

  • Receiving LGUs should be included in the planning & initial stages of the resettlement process

  • Sending LGUs should give financial support to families moving out of their jurisdiction

  • Trippings” should be continued

Housing Site and Development

  • Ideal: ready-to-occupy housing unit (4 walls, roof, door, functioning toilet with septic tank) is available upon transfer

  • Families must be allowed to stay in their place of origin if they will build their own houses; making people live in tents should be avoided

  • Roads to & within the resettlement site must be passable

  • Drainage must be functioning

  • Solid waste/garbage in the site must be regularly collected

Basic Services

Water and Electricity

  • Clear timeframe must be given to families to meet the requirements to have the service connected; this must be indicated in a MOA with service providers (Meralco, Manila Water/MWSS)

  • Electricity connection should come first as most water connections need electricity to function (i.e., water pumps)

  • It is preferred that the NHA includes this in their budget & should be included in the computation of the families’ monthly amortization

  • It is suggested that 70% of the cost of having the electricity connected be shouldered by the developer.

  • Meralco posts with transformers should be installed & “ready for use” in the relocation sites

  • Water should be potable


  • New school buildings/classrooms should have been built & ready to accommodate additional students from the relocated families at the time of relocation

  • Aim for the ideal teacher-student ratio of 1: 40


  • One (1) health center for each relocation site with at least one (1) doctor, one (1) midwife, and trained health workers


  • Creation of a transportation route/ system, otherwise cities must provide free shuttle service


  • Plans for livelihood should be supported by corresponding budgets

  • Livelihood programs must go beyond training & must be able to supply credit

  • A livelihood credit facility, ready to be accessed by qualified families; rules for accessing the facility must be made known prior to relocation

  • Tap & contact MFIs committed to extending credit to the poor

  • It has to be ensured that mechanisms for job creation on site must engender permanent and secure employment

  • Allocate funds/ provide assistance to affected families for the inconvenience/ disturbance resulting to their displacement


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