ILOCOS Norte Governor Imee Marcos expressed her aspiration for a comprehensive and decent housing project for all Filipino families not just for a particular sector.
Marcos said that a “bliss” housing program could just be the solution to the housing needs of the poor but not just to address the housing backlog of the government.
“If you wish for no traffic and lower prices of basic commodities, the usual wish is also that you have your own house. Is that still going to be a reality for Filipinos?” she asked.
Marcos said that almost every working Filipino, including those working abroad, is being made to pay their monthly membership contributions to the Home Development Mutual Fund, more popularly known as the Pag-IBIG Fund.
“Lahat ng sweldo natin may bawas kada buwan for Pag-IBIG (Fund). The question is, where is it going? Nasaan ba ‘yang housing (program) na ‘yan?” she asked.
The fulfillment of the aspiration of majority of poor Filipinos may be realized through the revival of the BLISS housing scheme.
“Kung kaya noon, bakit hindi ngayon?” Marcos said, referring to the government approach taken in the late 70s in addressing the housing problem of the poorest of the poor then.
Given that land is not only scarce but expensive, a medium-rise type of housing program similar to the Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services (BLISS), may not only help bring down the housing backlog but provide for a decent dwelling to those living in slum areas.
“There’s always the Pag-IBIG Fund deduction but there’s no BLISS. Billions and billions of pesos go to the Fund but where are the housing projects? There are housing programs for police and soldiers but there’s nothing for young families wanting to have their own house. Hanggang wish lang sa ngayon,” she said.
A mass housing program like BLISS can serve the housing needs of the majority of Filipinos for decades, she said.
In his budget message to Congress, President Duterte committed to prioritize housing and efficient access to potable water and electricity for the poor in the coming year.
He proposed a P1.3 billion budget to sustain the government’s socialized housing program under the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget.