NEW LANDOWNERS. Payatas residents receive the good news on Sunday (Sept. 26, 2021) that they can now own the land they have been living in for 40 years. The Quezon City government will acquire the property from Land Bank of the Philippines. (Photo courtesy of QC Government)

MANILA – Informal settlers in Barangay Payatas will finally own the land they are occupying after the Quezon City government acquired the approximately 96,169-square-meter area from Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank).

A total of 1,518 families, most of whom have been Payatas residents for 40 years, will benefit from the purchase.

They will pay for the land where their houses are built for PHP3,000 per square meter.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Mayor Joy Belmonte said she was granted authority for the purchase by City Resolution SP 8094-S-2020.

"Wala akong ibang ninanais kundi ang makatulong na makamit ang mga ipinaglalaban ng mga tao sa Quezon City (All I wanted was to help and help QC residents achieve what they were fighting for)," she stated.

Ramon Asprer, head of the Housing Community Development and Resettlement Department, and lawyer Roderick Sacro of LandBank signed the Deed of Conditional Sale for the formal acquisition of the 157 parcels of land on Saturday.

The Ramawil 9.6 Homeowners Association Inc., headed by Razul Janoras, expressed gratitude to the city government.

"At long last, sa hinaba-haba ng panahon, kay Mayor Joy Belmonte lang pala matutupad ang aming pinapangarap na lupa (after a very long time, we will be able to finally have out dream land, through Mayor Joy Belmonte)," Janoras was quoted by the QC government.

The property will be settled for PHP209,244,000, which is lower than the original offer of PHP257,070,000 by LandBank.

"Malaki po ang pasasalamat namin sa LandBank dahil (We thank the LandBank because) you agreed to enter into negotiations with the city government so that we can give to the people the land where they have been living in for so long now," Belmonte said.

Most residents of Payatas, located in the city’s second district, make a living out of scraps and garbage collected from its landfill

The area is also called the second Smokey Mountain, a landfill in Tondo that was closed by the city of Manila in 1995. (PNA)