Lucena City Mayor Roderick Alcala and Secretary General Angel R. Ojastro III of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) led the distribution of Certificates of Lot Awards (CELAs) to 335 urban poor families who had been residing in non-core properties of the Philippine National Railway (PNR) in Lucena City.
Given the long process and requirements for the issuance of titles, the CELAs are interim instruments that provide the families secure tenure by giving them the right to acquire the lots from PNR on which their homes are built. The CELAs are non-transferable except among family members in cases of succession.
The CELAs were issued following PNR Board of Directors approval of the disposition of non-core properties through sale of homelots to qualified beneficiaries last May 25, 2010. The PNR non-core properties are located in Manila, Quezon, Bicol and several provinces including Pampanga and Nueva Vizcaya.
Beginning 2014, the Urban Poor Affairs Division of Lucena City began census and tagging activities to verify the actual occupants that would be entitled to the CELAs in line with the government’s thrust to provide homes for the homeless and underprivileged.
The list of CELA recipients were approved by the Local Inter-Agency Committee (LIAC) on November 10, 2015, which is a participatory governance body composed of Mayor Alcala as chair and representatives from the Homeowners Associations (HOAs), concerned barangay captains, and national government officers from HUDCC, Philippine Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), and PNR.
In 2010, it was estimated that around 65,000 informal settler families (ISFs) were residing on PNR non-core properties, around 20,000 of whom have already been granted CELAs. Other ISFs have yet to be granted CELAs due to unresolved issues on the disposition of certain PNR non-core properties.
The awarding was held last Friday, February 3, 2017, at Queen Margarette Hotel, Lucena City.###