Editorial: Building up, housing for the poor-A A +A
Sunday, February 17, 2013
IN CEBU City, some urban poor groups submitted a covenant for decent and affordable housing to Liberal Party candidate Paulo Benigno "Bam" Aquino that calls on aspiring senators and congressmen to allocate funds to buy lots for permanent housing for the poor, if the candidates win.
Housing remains to be a problem, especially for the poor. Still we are well aware about the limitations. Land prices are skyrocketing, the cheaper ones are way out there where there are very limited economic opportunities, thus, the cycle of relocation and return continues; where residents removed from their illegal settlements are relocated to government-acquired properties pack up to return to where they were evicted, simply because the relocation site is far from where they can find work.
Despite this never-ending cycle of eviction and return, there is still no move to build up; the concept of tenements just doesn't seem to sit well with whoever are in authority, whether Davao City or in any other city.
It has been 30 years since erstwhile President Ferdinand E. Marcos introduced the Bliss Housing Projects in Metro Manila, where tenements were built for the poor. No one has ever followed suit since then.
Still, we know that building up is the only recourse as cost of land where job and livelihood opportunities for the poor abound will forever skyrocket because these opportunities are where there are major industries and commercial activities.
What is preventing authorities from pushing on with tenement housing should once and for all be tackled and concrete actions be made as housing backlog for the urban poor continue to pile up, year after year after year.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 18, 2013.