Press Release
April 5, 2017


I believe KADAMAY's occupation in Pandi, Bulacan served as a wake-up call for the government to address the country's massive housing problem, as evident with President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to finally hand over the housing units to KADAMAY members.

Resolving housing woes should not be as complicated as this. While I appreciate President Duterte's heart for the poor and homeless, as Chair of the Urban Planning, Housing, and Resettlement Committee, this should not be the means for anyone to become a recipient of housing projects. I am against any form of a government project being held hostage in order to justify anyone's need for shelter, unless in times of calamity. We have to do things right.

KADAMAY should still go through the proper process in the turn-over and awarding of housing units. We want them to comply with the process so that their occupation would not become a precedent for other groups demanding housing from the government.

Regardless of the President's decision, the Senate probe on KADAMAY's occupation will still push through on April 18. On these particular projects in Bulacan, we want to know those accountable for the neglect of the housing projects and where the funds were funneled. Our inquiry will also tackle issues as to why a number of housing projects by the National Housing Authority remain substandard in quality, unoccupied, and fragmented.

By now I believe we are convinced that government housing projects are no longer about structures, but should also cover a comprehensive and strategic plan in addressing other basic needs of beneficiaries such as access to livelihood, transportation, education, and health facilities. To effectively map this out and to address the housing backlog, we need to pursue the creation of a Department on Human Settlements and Urban Development and the passage of the In-City Relocation Bill. These two are our priority measures in the Senate Committee this year.

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