VARIOUS quarters concede that there’s that urgent need to have a national consensus on the best solution to growing homelessness in this graft-prone Southeast Asian nation.
Without doubt, a plan of action is required to carry out a housing program aimed at meeting the housing needs of the burgeoning population, which now totals more than 100 million.
And Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee R. Marcos, a senatorial bet in this year’s elections, wants a comprehensive and decent housing project for all Filipino families not just for a particular sector.
Marcos said a “bliss” housing program could just be the solution to the housing needs of the poor but not just to address the country’s mushrooming housing backlog.
Given that land is not only scarce but expensive, a medium-rise type of housing program similar to the Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services (BLISS) may help reduce the backlog.
In calling for the revival of the highly-successful BLISS, the highly-articulate and Ilocano-speaking Marcos said the program provides for a decent dwelling for those living in slum areas.
People living in slum communities not only in Metropolitan Manila but also in surrounding areas are packed in shanties beside stinking esteros, drainage canals and other waterways.
In fact, the sight of half-naked, barefooted and malnourished slum dwellers, including children and senior citizens, from the countryside makes one’s heart ache with sadness.
We agree with the governor, a daughter of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda R. Marcos, that a mass housing program, like BLISS, can serve the housing needs of the people for decades.
It is a pro-poor program that should be pursued.