Exec calls for creation of Nat’l Commission for the Urban Poor

MANILA As the government envisions inclusive growth for Filipinos, an official called for the creation of a National Commission for the Urban Poor, which would act as focal facilitator in providing socialized housing for the less fortunate.

Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) Commissioner Melvin Mitra said the PCUP's functions are limited "to serve as a direct link of the urban poor to the government in policy formulation and program implementation addressed to their needs".

Mitra said the creation of the commission would allow it to pursue participatory governance in the formulation of policies for the urban poor and hasten poverty reduction.

As for shelter-related projects, Mitra said the commission would also have focus on the selection of the resettlement sites, noting that a good location is important for the informal settlers.

He said some informal settlers complain of the relocation site's inaccessibility to livelihood and economic activity or long distance of travel to their work. If granted, Mitra vowed to select a relocation site, where settlers can have jobs enough to pay for the housing.

The aim is that they may have opportunities so they can build a home for themselves. The housing should be temporary, the goal is to provide enough paying jobs so they can elevate their status, he said in an interview during a multi-sectoral forum on Tuesday.

Mitra said the problems of informal settlers and socialized housing beneficiaries are relocation sites, job opportunity, proximity to their present job, and support system from local government units.

The local government unit may provide a relocation site for the informal settler families but they are sending them off to areas with no economic opportunities, Mitra said.

The sending LGU and the receiving LGU (relocation site) would pass to each other who gets the responsibility for the relocated informal settlers, he added.

In a PCUP study, at least 60 percent of relocated informal settlers either go back to being informal settlers as they search for cities or areas where there are jobs for them.

Mitra said he is meeting with Senator Christopher Bong Go and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano next week to discuss other points for the creation of the commission. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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