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Electric jeeps to ferry Valenzuela housing residents

Some residents of the first Disiplina Village in Brgy. Ugong use bicycles as their preferred mode of transportation as they go to work. Not only they save money, it helps them to stay fit and reduce carbon footprint. Feb. 2014 file photo.  

Photo by: Mark Cayabyab
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A woman uses a modified tricycle for her family's business in Disiplina Village Ugong, May 2011 file photo. Transportation and accesibility concern residents who relocate to a housing project which the city government address by coming up with thorough site development plans. 

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A vendor powers up his trade with bicycle in Disiplina Village Ugong, May 2011 file photo. Transportation and accesibility concern residents who relocate to a housing project which the city government address by coming up with thorough site development plans.

Photo by: Mark Cayabyab
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Families moving to Disiplina Village Bignay in Valenzuela City need not worry about being inconvenienced by having to live far from their workplaces, thanks to electric jeepneys.

Ulysses Aguilar, Chief of Staff of the Office of the City Mayor and project manager for Disiplina Village Bignay, said residents will be ferried in and out of the 11.6-hectare socialized housing project of the city government by electric jeepneys.

These electric jeepneys will travel from the village and back, passing through the city’s major thoroughfares, including the Maysan Service Road, MacArthur Highway, A. Pablo Street, and Malinta Exit.

Unlike a typical jeepney powered by gasoline, an electric jeepney instead runs on electricity generated by garbage and so does not emit carbon dioxide, an air pollutant.

The city government is looking at buying eight to 10 units of electric jeepneys, Aguilar said.

Environment-friendly and economical

Aguilar said a power plant that would convert garbage into electricity and serve as the electric jeepney’s charging station is also on the drawing board.

“Naniniwala ang city government that we should start moving to renewable energy usage (The city government believes that it should now start using renewable energy),” said Aguilar.

Not only such power plant environment-friendly, it would also reduce the city government’s electricity consumption, as it is expected to supply power to city government buildings, Aguilar said. It would also save the money spent on hauling garbage of the city into a landfill.

The first electric jeepneys running on commercial routes were first launched in Makati City on February 2012. 

‘Model  community’

City Housing and Resettlement officer Elenita Reyes said the common misgiving among those who have been offered relocation at the Disiplina Village is that they would have to commute longer to their jobs and pay more for travel fare; or be removed altogether from their livelihood.

Of the 1,156 families that have been given the offer, 600 did not follow through the application process, Reyes said. The Disiplina Village Bignay is expected to accommodate 3,852 families as it opens on September.

The Disiplina Village Bignay is the city government’s second large-scale socialized housing project since the first Disiplina Village in Brgy. Ugong, a 900-family community that opened in 2012. Both housing projects cater to informal settler families (ISFs) living in danger zones along rivers, creeks and other waterways, where they run the risk of their homes being washed away by flood come rainy season.

The projects are being patterned after Singapore’s public rental system where the city government is providing its beneficiaries with housing for 25 years at a very nominal fee.

City mayor REX Gatchalian said the Disiplina Village Bignay will be groomed to become a “model community” with everything the residents will need just close by. It will have its own church, basketball courts, playgrounds, public market, schools, among other amenities.

Residents are also required to follow a set of community and housing rules in order to maintain peace, order and a sense of dignity in Disiplina. Compliance to said rules will allow them continued stay at the village.

With the opening of the housing project, the city government is hoping to change the popular but unflattering notion about government housing projects for the poor as backwater communities, the local executive added.

2015-06-25 | By: Rafael Cañete, Beng Bautista

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