I helped BAHAY partylist because I believed in its advocacy: shelter for all.
That is a long shot though, but that is the focus. Housing for all… shelter is always a problem of highly urbanized cities. There is this greater tendency for people in the countryside to congregate in the city hoping to find a pot of gold.
But for years, they have not found their gold. They perpetuate poverty instead. But they are there along the main road putting up makeshift houses that is so dangerous . They are at the banks of the river, unmindful of heavy rains.
Once they were called squatters. Now they are called informal settlers, a new name crafted by NGOs. Whatever, they all need a decent place to stay.
They occupy lands they do not own. How do you call that?
They probably have lands and houses back in their provinces. But they want the city for reasons they alone understand. So look around, they occupy lands, they be government lands or private lands..
Relocation sites do not offer them brighter hope. They are relocated alright but they cannot survive.
Business is nowhere in sight. So during the initial meeting with Bahay people up there, I told them about creating communities. We don’t relocate 300 or 500 families. That won’t work. Relocate 5k families and it will work.
Five thousand families times two would mean 10k in one place. Plus two sons or daughters, this means 20k in that community. Even without providing a building, eyesores will sprout like mushrooms.
Call it multiplier effect, the place will be swarmed with laundry shops, sari sari stores, fish and gulay stalls not to mention convenience stores, kinder schools, chapels, among others. In short business will thrive.
Government’s role is to make sure the community is well in place. Good roads, water, power, all basic requirements needed.
With 100 sqm property and a small house with 3k for a monthly amortization, it will be a thriving community. Like Cabantian. Like Skyline.
But not 10k for their monthly amortization. Like those low cost subdivisions.