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Isko, Honey launch BaseCommunity

Isko Moreno
Mayor Isko Moreno tries to drive the crane as he and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna launched 'BaseCommunity' which will provide decent housing for homeless residents of Baseco in Tondo, Manila. At right is city engineer Armand Andres. Photo by JERRY S. TAN

“ITO ang magiging simbolo ng pabahay sa Maynila at pagpapataas ng antas ng pamumuhay sa Maynila.”

Thus vowed Mayor Isko Moreno, as he and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna yesterday led the launching of ‘BaseCommunity,’ which will be the new face of the depressed area of Baseco in Tondo, Manila.

During the event, Moreno announced that ‘up-and-down’ or two-storey townhouses will be provided for the poor, homeless residents of Baseco, measuring 20 square meters per floor, complete with two bedrooms, a kitchen and toilet. This developed after the area which was hit by fire was subdivided equally among those who used to reside there.

Moreno acknowledged the help of Lacuna and the city council over which she presides, saying all the city government plans came to fruition with the support of members of the Manila City Council.

The mayor vowed that the said horizontal housing project in the area is targeted to be finished within three months. He also commended city engineer Armand Andres, city electrician Randy Sadac, city architect Pepito Balmoris and the barangay officials in the area for helping out.

“Binaha-bahagi ang mga lote pantay-pantay, walang nagsisiga-sigaan, walang nagmamatapang, walang naggagaling-galingan o nang-aapi ng kapitbahay, ” Moreno said, as he stressed that once finished and awarded, the said houses cannot be sold by its assigned owners.

“Ipakikita natin ano ba ang salitang ‘para sa mahirap’? O mas maganda ang salitang ‘mahal ko ang mahirap’, dahil ang pinairal ay malasakit. Di pwede na hinihimod ko lang lagi ang inyong wepaks para mailagay lang sa puwesto palagi… kailangan matutunan ng tao mapataas ang antas ng pamumuhay habang katabi niya ang pamahalaan,” he stressed.

Moreno bared that originally, all he wanted for the area was for it to be lit up. But after he and Lacuna found a budget for the housing, he immediately called Balmoris to draw up a plan for the provision of townhouses for the residents.

“”Hindi ito parang bahay ng kalapati. Me dignidad, hindi mema (me magawa lang). Mahirap gawin ang pabahay kaya sabi ko dapat gawin na nang maayos. Disente, maaliwalas, pangmatagalan,” the mayor said, adding that the project would come complete with an efficient power and sewerage system and a parking area.

Moreno said he knows fully well the difficulties of not having a toilet and more specifically, a home of your own, citing how he, as a young boy living in the squatters’ area at the Parola Compound, experienced on a day-to-day basis the fear of ending up in the streets one day.

In exchange for the housing project, Moreno asked all residents to wear face masks all the time and keep themselves safe from COVID-19 by always following all health protocols.