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    Harmonizing Efforts to Build Better Communities

    27 October 2016

    General Santos City Housing Summit, KCC & Convention Center, General Santos City

    Thank you all for coming together to discuss the problem of shelter, especially for those who are at the periphery of society. Iyong mga tinatawag nating nasa laylayan ng lipunan, iyon po ang pangunahin nating tinutulungan ngayon.

    Some of you here come home every night to a house that is essentially an articulation of your life’s accomplishments, a home that reminds you that you have done well, a space where you can be yourself and be safe and secure with your loved ones.

    Tayo pong may inuuwian ng tahimik na natutulog gabi gabi, napaka swerte po natin. But more than 5.56 million families in the Philippines don’t enjoy that basic need. Ang atin pong homeless ngayon sa Pilipinas ay estimated to be at 5.6 million families, napakarami po.

    There are many here within the sound of my voice who are still living in informal settler communities in urban areas, in the path of floods, along esteros, and in disaster zones. Those who live in rural areas are in the path of typhoons, mired in poverty and hopelessness.

    Alam po ninyo noong pumasok po ako sa HUDCC chair, iyon po ang hinaharap nating sitwasyon.

    Nakakapanlumo po na marami sa ating mga kababayan, kahit po alam na hindi safe ang lugar at napaka delikado, basta lang may matitirahan ay nakikipag sapalaran na. At iyon po ang ayaw natin mangyari.

    Giving you the means to provide not just a good home for your families but also livable communities where you can thrive and be your most productive self is a job that cannot be done by the government alone. Because this is a job for all of us.

    Kaya po ang ganitong event spearheaded by our progressive, local government leaders, in partnership with the private sector, civil society, homeowners, the national government and all those who have a stake in the issue of housing is a sign that we are about to see results.

    Alam ninyo po kinukwento ko kay Mayor kanina, that this is the first time na magkakaroon ng partnership na sabay sabay.

    Ang isang LGU, Habitat for Humanity at HUDCC are all coming together to solve the issue in shelter and housing.

    Sabi ko kay Mayor, tama po ang partner na nahanap ninyo. Ang Habitat for Humanity isa sa pinaka reliable, talagang maaasahan na partner ng housing ditto sa ating bansa.

    And importante pong maging successful ang ating partnership because if this becomes successful, we hope to replicate this in many other local government units for their housing.

    In Gen San, it looks like the ingredients are all coming together for the development of a city that the rest of the country can emulate. Napakahalaga po na [unintelligible].

    Before coming here galing na po kami ni Mayor sa kabila, mayroon din po siya doon na Education Summit. Pagpapakita na this is really a recognition na government cannot help solve the problems of society alone—the government has to partner with the partner sector to be able to collaborate with them to solve the problems in our country.

    The process of consultation and participation is often messy, tiresome, and yes, sometimes expensive. But I learned that before this Summit, you have embraced the idea of bringing together homeowners associations, private developers, government agencies, and other stakeholders.

    Alam ninyo po, napakarami po kasi sa gobyerno sasabihin, tayo naman ang hinalal ng tayo, tayo nalang mag-usap usap. Kaya bihira po ang LGU na kahit sila na ang nahalal, talagang every step of the way, sinasali pa din sa lahat ng usapin ang lahat ng stakeholders.

    Ang paniniwala po natin, the best solutions para sa ating mga problema ay nandoon, at dumadaan mismo sa problemang iyon. And most importantly, the City office has been at the center of all of these events. To me, the results of your consultative process are very impressive.

    I also learned that the City office has allocated P30 million this year to buy 10 hectares of land that will be used for development of communities that can house 700 families.

    Pinapagaan ninyo po ang trabaho naming sa HUDCC. Kasi paminsan po mayroon kaming mga programa para sa pabahay, pero wala namang available na tatayuan.

    Pero dito po, talagang walking the talk ang ating LGU. Hindi pa man kinakailangan, naglaland-banking na, para pag kinakailangan mayroon na kaagad magagamit. An innovation that is really close to my heart.

    Nabasa ko po ito sa background ng programa ng City Government, is your LGU’s plan to build rental housing for fisherfolk. Alam ninyo po, isa sa pinaka mahirap na sector ng ating lipunan ang ating mga mangingisda sa matagal na matagal na panahon, bago pa lang naman po akong pulitiko.

    Naging politiko po akong noong 2013 lang nang mamatay ang asawa ko. Bago po ako naging politiko isa po akong abugado para sa mahihirap. Ang amin pong tinutulungan ang sector ng mangingisda.

    Kaya noong naging HUDCC chair ako, isa sa mga pangunahing gusto nating asikasuhin ay pabahay para sa mga mangingisda dahil isa talaga sila sa mga pinaka kawawang sector lalo na pagdating sa pabahay.

    We also learned that with help from Habitat for Humanity, the City office and its partners would package projects to access the housing programs of SHFC, Pag-Ibig, and NHMFC.

    The HUDCC has committed to facilitate more than 3,600 units under SHFC, 4,788 units under Pag-Ibig, and 4,788 units under NHMFC. The HUDCC is also working on a joint circular with DAR, LRA, and BIR to address chokepoints affecting land conversion, titling, tax exemption to facilitate access to land for socialized housing.

    Kaunting kuwento lang po. Alam ninyo po mula nang nahalal ako bilang HUDCC chair, isa po sa unang binisita ko ang mga biktima ng Sendong at Yolanda. Ang Sendong po mas nauna pa sa Yolanda, pero ang Yolanda 3 years ago na.

    Pero pag bisita ko po doon sa housing para sa biktima, marami pa pong hindi nagagawa. At hindi po iyon dahil sa korapsyon. Iyon po ay dahil napaka haba ng proseso para mabigyan ng pabahay ang isang mahirap na pamilya. Kaya galing sa pagbisita sa mga communities na ito, kinausap ko po ang ating Pangulo.

    Sabi ko, Mr. President baka po puwede na nating ipatawag ng sabay sabay ang BIR, COA, NHA, etc at mag-usap po kami sabay sabay kung paano mapapadali ang proseso. Kasi alam ninyo po, ang ating backlog ay 5.6million houses ngayon. Pero ang nagagawa po nating pabahay, mga 200,000 a year lang para sa mahihirap. Kung patuloy po ang ganito, pagkatapos ng term naming ni Pangulong Duterte, lalong lolobo ang ating backlog. Kasi napakahina po ng pagproduce ng mga pabahay. Kaya po ngayon hinahanapan po natin ng paraan kung papano mapapabilis ang proseso na hindi na nahihirapan.

    We have here homeowners associations, hindi ko po alam kung may urban poor associations dito. Pero very common pong kwento sa ating mga associations, ang tagal na po nilang nagko-contribute, pero ang kino-contribute nila napupunta lang sa pagpo-proseso ng papeles.

    Imbis na ang contribution napupunta na sa para sa mga pabahay, lahat po ito napupunta sa pag follow-up, pag kuha ng mga documentary requirements, gusto nap o natin [unintelligible].

    Para iyong kakaunting resources natin mapupunta na po talaga sa paghulog sa bahay. Gusto po nating madaliin iyong sa proseso para sa inyong lahat.

    These may all sound like simple numbers, but to me, each unit brings to mind one more family living in better conditions.

    Kaya po sinasabi ko dati, kasi marami din po akong nabisitang mga pabahay, nandoon nga ho ang bahay, pero may mga bahay na hindi naman maayos ang pagkagawa. Mayroong mga bahay na napaka layo naman sa lugar na pagtatrabahuan.

    Mayroon akong binisita, maganda nga ang bahay, wala namang tubig o kuryente. Kaya sabi po natin sa ating mga ahensya, ang sukat natin ng success ng programa natin hindi sa number of houses na nagagawa natin. Ang sukat ay kung nababago ba natin para sa kabutihan ang pagkakaroon ng pabahay sa isang pamilya. Kaya ngayon po babaguhin natin lahat ng sukat.

    What’s more, your City is now providing security of tenure to resettled families by facilitating individual land titles. And further signifying that shelter is your City’s priority, Gen San has something that not all LGUs have… pero ang council report, naku hirap na hirap na po kami sa HUDCC para pilitin ang ibang mga LGUs na magkaroon ng local housing report. Pero meron po kayo dito sa GenSan City Housing and Land Management Office.

    An office that not LGUs have. Kapag mayroon po kayong ganitong opisina, masisiguro po and an assurance that there is a particular office that will take care of your housing needs.

    See how consultation and participation creates results that matter on the ground? Let me personally congratulate all of you who have made this happen. From the City government to the shelter agencies to the homeowners’ associations and the private sector. In behalf of all those at the periphery of society who will benefit from the beautiful communities you will create, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    My gratitude also goes to Habitat for Humanity for supporting these endeavors. Gaya po ng sinabi ko kanina, wala pa po ako sa opisinang ito, ang Habitat for Humanity has been a very able partner of government and private sector in making our dreams of owning our own homes a come true.

    The private sector, aid agencies, and other partners bring so much more than resources to the table. You bring experience, expertise, and goodwill. The Memorandum of Understanding to be signed by HUDCC and Habitat today is but a formalization of such goodwill already enjoyed on both fronts. Thank you all for being part of our efforts to provide shelter to our people.

    Nakakalampas pa lang po kami ng 100 days in office. Ang 100 days namin October 8, ngayon ay 109 days in office na po kami. Inip na inip po talaga kami to move faster lalo na sa pabahay. Kung hindi talaga bibilisan, hindi instant ang results.

    Every week bumibisita kami sa pinaka malalayong lugar para makita ang pinaka buod ng mga problema ng ating barangay. The faces and voices of the poor we have visited indicate that every day of delay causes them to suffer further.

    Ito po ang problema natin, dito po sa Mindanao dahil napaka layo, paminsan hindi na napapakinggan ang mga pangangailangan. Kaya ngayon po binabaliktad natin. Imbes na kayo ang pupunta Maynila, kami po ang pupunta sa inyo para lalo po naming marinig at bigyan kayo ng boses at marinig ang inyong mga hinaing. At hindi lang po marinig, makita rin po mismo namin kung ano ang kalagayan.

    Araw araw na patatrabaho namin, araw araw po naming sinusubukan matugunan ang inyong pangangailangan. Our work has revolved around addressing institutional problems in HUDCC in performing its mandate.

    Ngayon po collaboration is already the key. Narerealize po naming as HUDCC hindi po namin kaya gawin na kami lang. Kailangan po lahat ng ahensya sa amin katulad ng Pag-Ibig, NHA, etc lahat po iyon kailangan magtulong-tulong. Pero kahit kami-kami po hindi din sapat. Kaya po ang local government nandito, iyong private sector, Habitat for Humanity, homeowners’ association, at NGOs pagtutulong-tulongan po natin lahat para po madala ang lahat ng pangangailangan sa atin.

    Kaya ngayon pong umaga I would like to thank and congratulate the city government of GenSan for initiating and spearheading this event and for creating the housing office of the city that will take care of the shelter needs of our constituents.

    Pinapasalamatan ko din po ang Habitat for Humanity for being very active and very able partner of the government.

    At lahat po lahat ng homeowners associations, LGUs for all coming together and finding the solution for the shelter problems of the people of GenSan.

    Asahan po ninyo na nandito lang ang aming opisina para makinig sa inyong mga pangangailangan.

    Maraming salamat po uli.

    Posted in Speeches on Oct 27, 2016