IT IS highly commendable to reclaim government spaces used by individuals for private gain for years, perhaps for generations.
Now the government has more assets to put to right use for the greatest good.
Or so I hope despite my doubts that the bottom of the economic pyramid would eventually not benefit from these public assets given the generally anti poor bias of those in control of power.
This is why it is important for the people to know especially those affected by clearing and cleaning operations what the government development plan is for these reclaimed public assets, and what more can it do, to improve the quality of life of the majority poor in this country.
Clearing and cleaning operations is good, but converting the outputs to expand and improve public services for greatest good is certainly better.
Unless the government flows back to its people their fat salaries and freebies, notwithstanding billions in public money that go illegally to some private pockets and dummy accounts, the clearing actions and dozens promises would only be construed as hollow exhibition of their power and ego rather than sincerity and integrity.
For one, reclaimed public spaces could ease traffic which would decrease time and opportunity losses for government and private sector.
Some spaces could be converted into government owned and managed parking spaces and function centers to raise revenues. Others can be given to organized urban associations and homeowners for income generating projects, including urban food gardens and botanical parks.
In this way, people can be encouraged to make use of certain public spaces for their additional incomes, but of course with government financial, technical and legal support.
While this in progress, the DILG can push LGUs to enforce laws like on corporate social responsibility, water and power utility services, and no less the socialized housing under the amended RA 10884 or the Balanced Housing Program which have deprived the government and the poor of the compliance obligations by companies, developers and other private sector entities.
These companies have not rendered their dues to the LGUs not that they didn't want to but because corrupt LGU executives have strike under the table deals with them instead of enforcing compliance which could have brought billions in opportunities for the marginalized sectors not using government funds, but the investment funds of these corporate powers.
There are more that could be done, or should have been done, had there been right orientation and political will, to turn this government into a real power of change, not as instrument of the greedy ruling elites and their global corporate bosses.
I'm glad to mention in this regard that there's a professional consultancy firm in Bacolod that engages in these subjects and concerns. It could be interesting for LGUs and even private corporations to seek their advice.