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Human Resettlement as an Intervention in Community Development

As thousands of affected families were resettled and displaced due to the Mount Pinatubo eruption, the task of re-creating an economically viable, socially satisfying and environmentally sustainable resettlement became enormous as the displaced were faced with great uncertainties in a new and unfamiliar environment. This study focused on the Bagong Buhay resettlement in Palayan, Nueva Ecija which was predominantly settled by displaced families from Pampanga and Zambales. The research thoroughly determined and analyzed the complexities of the resettlement process, its attendant characteristics, its outcome and viability, the factors affecting such outcome/viability and its implications that may prove useful in future resettlement planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The resettlement of Mt. Pinatubo victims as in the case of Bagong Buhay proved to be an important and powerful mechanism through which the displaced were assisted to rebuild their life anew. Results of the study as evidenced by the experiences of the settlers themselves revealed that resettlement was a complex, stressful and often difficult process. The settlers had to adopt to a new and unfamiliar environment and at the same time create productive enterprises and new social organization to cope up with their new situation. The implications of the study point that resettlement must not be treated simply as a mechanism to move the displaced to a new land but must be holistically approached as a development opportunity to mobilize the resources of the state, different GOs/NGOs and the settlers themselves who are at the center of the development process in the pursuit of sustainable development.


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