The genuine need for housing PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 30 March 2017 10:51

By: Remedios F. Marmoleño

The house we live in is one we own and we have lived  in it  since 1969. We built it for an amount that would be laughable at this time but cost of materials then was so  low  if compared to now. Besides,  it really is a simple house and nothing to brag about. It meets our needs and our life style and I suppose that is all that matters. Over the many years we have lived in this house,  knowing that we own it, has given us a sense of “location” and rootedness.

I was led to reflect on this topic on reading the reports on the takeover by KADAMAY of several hundred  unoccupied houses  in a number of government housing projects and even in one private housing project in   in Bulacan. It is anticipated that there will be some violence when they are evicted from  these houses they have occupied.

From the legal perspective KADAMAY had no right to do what the members did.

The units they occupied were already set aside for specific families and even if these families were not yet occupying the houses that did not mean that these could be claimed by others. What KADAMAY did  was a demonstration of complete disregard for respect for others and disregard for the rule of law. I can understand the need of people like the KADAMAY members . Nevertheless their need cannot ever justify the action they took. I can only think of the word anarchy in considering their actions.

What is pointed out by this incident is the genuine need for decent housing for the millions of families in our country who rent the homes they live in or are simply “squatters” in the area where they live. I am thinking not only of people who live on minimum wage but also even those who earn better.

Let us say that you have a family of 5 ( parents and 3 children of school age) and the family income is P50K a month. If each family member takes at least 1 RT jeepney ride a day at P8 per ride the amount comes to P400 a week or about P2,000 a month. At least. There are other items to provide for and this situation does not allow for saving for a house in the near future.

And yet we see daily in our newspapers ads for new townships being put up by the big real estate development companies, developments with romantic sounding names. And the studio units can cost about P4M each.

What can a family do if there is a genuine need but there is not the means to cover the need? What KADAMAY obviously did  is not the answer. The bright guys in our government need to put their thinking caps on. And right away!