Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing, and Resettlement Chair Jose Victor “JV” Ejercito announced the launch of probe on the recent incident in Bulacan where the urban poor group Kadamay occupied 6,000 housing units last month.
Although President Rodrigo Duterte had decided to just leave the housing units to the group on Tuesday, Ejercito said that there are still issues that are needed to be addressed in line with the incident.
Ejercito added that the inquiry will look as to why a number of housing projects by the National Housing Authority (NHA) remain “substandard in quality, unoccupied, and fragmented.”
Although he appreciate President Duterte’s “heart for the poor and homeless’, Ejercito said that holding any government projects hostage is not enough to justify any person’s need for shelter.
Ejercito also believes that anyone who would want to avail of the government’s housing programs should comply with the process and requirement in order to gain entitlement. He also said that the Kadamay should serve as a wake-up call for the government to further improve its attempts to solve the housing problem in the country.
“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,” Ejercito said.
He also called for the creation of a Department on Human Settlements and Urban Development and the passage of the In-city Relocation Bill.
Meanwhile, several lawmakers had expressed their support of Kadamay. There are currently eight bills passed in the Lower House which will cover in-city resettlement and development and community-government coordination in order to provide improved access to both livelihood and education.