Enough jobs, livelihood answer to migration problems – Gibo
By Jaime Laude
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Administration standard-bearer Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said the only way to address the migration problem in Metro Manila is to have enough jobs and livelihood opportunities in the countryside.
In a radio interview, Teodoro said unemployment and homeless people in the metropolis would be addressed if the next government would invest more in job-generating rural development and giving people in the provinces capacity-building training so they would not go to the city to find jobs or better opportunities.
“We should not allow more migration because of lack of chances or opportunities in the provinces,” he stressed.
Teodoro said the problem of migration is not new to him, since he saw it first-hand on his watch as defense secretary during an “immersion” exercise with depressed communities in Baseco and Moriones about two years ago.
His latest campaign sorties have brought him to depressed communities in some parts of the country, which enabled him to listen to the poor’s plight first hand.
“I enjoyed talking with the poor. Especially when the formalities have gone away, there’s a meaningful discussion,” said the former three-term congressman from Tarlac.
Once the flow of migration is stemmed, Teodoro suggested that construction of mass housing projects be undertaken to lessen incidence of homelessness in the metropolis.
“Massive housing projects in Metro Manila must be developed vertically owing to lessons learned when typhoon ‘Ondoy’ struck the country last year and inundated most of Metro Manila. Metro Manila could not anymore handle massive single-storey housing projects. We learned from Ondoy that you need to reduce the area you’re going to develop,” he said.
Earlier, Teodoro called for a long-term political truce for successful implementation of priority initiatives necessary for the government to raise P208 billion to rehabilitate and reconstruct areas damaged by typhoons last year.
The amount of P208 billion was the estimate earlier given by Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, who heads the Special National Reconstruction Commission formed by President Arroyo to seek fresh aid and study the causes, costs and actions needed in the wake of such devastating typhoons as “Ondoy” and “Pepeng.”
Teves said the estimated amount is about 2.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
Teodoro said the government needs to boost confidence in the economy and its capability to carry out sustainable programs to encourage aid and private-sector investments that would help fund this massive reconstruction effort.