New commission for urban poor proposed

SENATOR JV Ejercito is pushing for the creation of a National Commission for the Urban Poor, an agency that will act as the focal facilitator in addressing socialized housing problems.

There is currently a Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), which serves as a direct link of the urban poor to the government in policy formulation and program implementation.

Ejercito, chair of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement, however, stressed the need to pursue participatory governance in the formulation of policies for the urban poor and fulfill the commission’s role in poverty reduction.

“Alleviating poverty is one of the primary thrusts of the government. While there are many factors which are attributable to the state of poverty, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) study in 2009 cited that the poor remain poor because they cannot borrow against future earnings to invest in education, skills, new crops and entrepreneurial activities,” he said.

“It is stated that they are cut off from economic activity because many property rights, public safety and infrastructure are said to be under provided and these people lack information about market opportunities,” the senator added.

Clearly, Ejercito said, these factors are manifestations of disproportionate and inaccessible opportunities in the society.