GIVEN the monstrous presence of squatters not only in the metropolis but elsewhere, the government ought to “look deeper” into the mushrooming number of homeless people.
Many of these homeless Filipinos, mostly from impoverished rural areas, live in crammed shanties in overcrowded, stinking and dimly-lit squatter colonies in the country.
Thus, we commend the House of Representatives’ committee on housing and urban development for adopting a resolution seeking to declare a housing crisis in the Philippines.
Headed by Negros Occidental Rep. Francisco Benitez, the highly-influential committee on housing adopted House Resolution No. 1468, a substitute bill, last Wednesday.
Specifically, the resolution urged the executive department to mobilize its resources to accelerate housing production and provide adequate dwelling units to underserved families.
The resolution said that population growth, migration from the rural areas, and the rising cost of urban land led to an increase in the number of squatter settlements in cities.
This, despite the enactment of various laws on housing production, which are designed to address the problem of homelessness not only in MM but also throughout the country.
According to government estimates, this Third World nation needs 6,796,910 housing units by 2022.
From July 2016, when President Duterte assumed the top political post of the land, to June 2020, the government and the private sector constructed only 777,879 dwelling units.
The resolution also called on the government, in partnership with the private sector, to fast-track the development and disposition of idle public lands for socialized housing.