ANAKPAWIS Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao on Wednesday urged the National Housing Authority (NHA) to fast-track the awarding of housing units in Rodriguez, Rizal that have been idle for five years.
The said housing units can be awarded under Joint Resolution No. 2, which President Rodrigo Duterte approved last May, said Casilao following the attempt of some 700 urban poor activists under the Montalban Homeless Alliance (MHA), which is affiliated with the Kadamay urban poor group, to occupy the said vacant houses.
The legislative measure was triggered by the occupation by Kadamay members of unoccupied and deteriorating NHA housing units located in Pandi town, Bulacan in May last year.
Casilao said the very wisdom of the resolution lies on the houses being unused after being constructed at a cost of billions of pesos in public funds for the poor sectors given the widespread homelessness in the country.
“We reiterate our assertion that the occupy mass actions of Kadamay group is not detrimental to public interest, but actually putting sense to the perverse spending of public funds,” said Casilao.
“If tens of thousands of housing units constructed across the country remain unused and left to rot, it is comparable to throwing away billions of pesos of taxpayers’ money,” he said.
Casilao said Kadamay should supported instead and the homeless urban poor encouraged “to immediately occupy these units, so as to lessen the plague of homelessness in the country”.
“The only stumbling block on this issue is the slow execution of the NHA, and its refusal to a democratic consultation demanded by Kadamay,” said Casilao.
“Anakpawis urges NHA General Manager Escalada to fast-track the implementation of the Joint Resolution No. 2 so that formally, these idle houses, which include those in Montalban, Rizal, be properly awarded to the homeless poor,” said Casilao.