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The concept of urban renewal in metropolitan Manila : an analysis


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Beltran, Jose V (Jose Villareal) 1982 , 'The concept of urban renewal in metropolitan Manila : an analysis', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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A distinctive feature of the urban renewal effort in Metropolitan
Manila is the policy requiring the minimum displacement of families vis - a- vis
the provision of the basic needs of man or of a human settlement. To carry
out this policy, a comprehensive upgrading and improvement in situ that
integrates social service improvements and physical improvements was undertaken.
The scheme called for the participation of a host of government agencies to
overcome, among others, financial constraints and jurisdictional limitation.
This led to the interaction, interrelationship, and coordination among various
departments and offices involved in the solution of a problem.
This effort to make Metropolitan Manila livable and pleasant includes
Tondo. It is the largest squatter slum in Manila. Tondo-related activities
have a formative impact on the government urban renewal program because it
is the first comprehensive slum upgrading project ever undertaken. For all
intents and purposes, therefore, the Tondo project is a prototype of city
renewal in the Philippines.
Experiences gained in the Tondo project implementation period will
help strengthen the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Metropolitan
Manila Commission (MMC). Particularly, NHA and its parent agency, the
Ministry of Human Settlements (MHS) are expected to increase significantly its
capacity to plan and implement similar slum upgrading and sites and services
projects in other parts of Metropolitan Manila and in other cities in the
Philippines. The project would also help the government to develop
institutions, reexamine existing policies and programs and formulate new
ones to deal with the problems of urban growth. One of the existing policies which this study suggests government
should examine is its budgetary orientation re securing first the foundation infrastructures before the direct provision of services. Such partiality
to public buildings and edifices, roads, and drainage and sewerage systems
leads to an incrementalist and palliative attention to the other basic
needs. Although the poor may enjoy to a certain extent the benefits derived
from these physical facilities, they may remain as poor as ever because they
now have to worry, for instance, about rentals which did not bother them
at all when they were living in makeshift dwellings built in squatter areas.
Indeed, city renewal must fulfil several objectives: social,
physical, economic, educational. Moreover, it must aim at the spiritual
needs of the individual and the community. These goals must be pursued
to avoid paying lip-service to providing the basic needs which the government
has espoused and committed itself so very vocally. Serious consideration
of this four-point objective would also mean a departure from the traditional.
response of the Philippine government to the problem of slum and squatter
areas, i.e., a series of ad hoc, crisis-oriented projects generally
involving pre-fabricated homes and major relocations to distant sites, which
have not been very successful. Principal difficulties have been a lack of
nearby employment opportunities and inadequate services, especially
transportation. In fact, there was no distribution of social infrastructure.
The most important aspect of social infrastructure is the quality of human
resources, meaning, the capacity of labour to enjoy the benefits of growth
and to contribute to productivity itself. By placing the discussion within the time frame, 1975-1980, the
circumstances shaping the urban renewal effort are sequentially presented.
It was in these years that decisions to upgrade and improve Metropolitan
Manila became bolder: for example, foreign loans to finance social rather
than economic infrastructure whose investment returns will not be readily
quantified in terms of cash. Chapter I describes the background of the effort. In a more or
less historical perspective, this scenario gives account of the events
that moulded Metropolitan Manila into its present form, i.e., urban blight
and subhuman living conditions in its squatter slum areas, specifically,
Tondo. Chapter II analyses the conceptual framework of the effort. This
is followed by the two chapters dealing with the application of the concept.
Chapter III discusses the city renewal activities in the entire Metropolitan
Manila composed of four cities and thirteen municipalities, and Chapter IV
deals with the slum clearance and improvement of Tondo itself. Chapter V
concludes with a cautionary note on the need to review the government policy
allocating the major bulk of its meagre resources to infrastructures and
physical facilities to the detriment of the other basic necessities not only
of the individual citizen but also of the larger community.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Beltran, Jose V (Jose Villareal)
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1981 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

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Thesis (M.Soc.Sc.)--University of Tasmania, 1982

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