Covenant with the Urban Poor
Our country’s most valuable resource is its people.
Every Filipino has the right to basic human needs, a decent standard of living, and the equal opportunity to develop his or her potentials to the fullest.
In a modern economy every person must be a productive citizen contributing the best of his or her abilities to the development of the country.
However, poverty denies many Filipinos their basic rights and the opportunities to improve their lives and help in nation building. Bad governance and corruption are the primary causes that subvert development and growth.
As candidates for public office, we pledge to build a just society for all Filipinos. We shall vigorously rid our government of corruption and channel these resources to address the basic needs of our people, especially the poor and marginalized.
We shall also implement sustainable solutions through institutionalized policies to combat poverty and provide basic needs, including housing, health, education and jobs for the poor, rather than the “stop gap” measures and empty political gestures of the past and present.
We commit ourselves to the following goals and principles:
No evictions without decent relocation.
We will end illegal forced evictions. We will not allow any public or private authority to evict families and leave them homeless in the street. The government must provide decent relocation, near-city or in-city, if possible, quality housing, adequate basic services and jobs.
We will not tolerate a situation where wage earners have to stay in the city to work while the other members of the family stay in distant relocation centers. This separation weakens and often fractures family life. We will not institutionalize such situations by building sites in the city where they will live apart from their families. As the work force in the cities, the poor, up to the extent possible, should be given the opportunity to stay in the cities.
We will strengthen efforts to achieve balance and equitable urban-rural development and established sustainable livelihood activities in relocation areas to proactively address the problems of in-migration and informal housing.
Provide support for area upgrading and in-city resettlement.
We will shift the emphasis in our housing program to area upgrading and in-city resettlement through the Community Mortgage Program (CMP). We will accelerate CMP and promote its localization (LCMP).
We will strive to proclaim land in favor of as many poor families as possible anchored on the Comprehensive Land Use Plans of their local governments and in consultation with their beneficiary families.
We will order a review of all Presidential Proclamations to determine the status of their implementation. We will not revoke any Presidential Proclamation without thorough study and adequate consultation.
Provide basic services that benefit poor communities.
Over the six years of our term, we will significantly increase the health and education allocations in our national budget. This will bring us closer to the level of spending of our neighboring countries. We will extend health insurance coverage to all urban poor people, put an end to shifting in public schools and provide full set of quality textbooks for our public school children.
We will work with the private sector, utility cooperatives and the donor community to provide access to water and electricity for all urban poor communities. We will encourage our public utilities and government-owned and controlled corporations to incorporate these goals as an integral part of their corporate social responsibility.
Our desire is to have a government which will provide adequate housing for every Filipino and protect their housing rights.
To this end, we are committed to support and replicate successful housing programs to cover the estimated housing need by providing sufficient funds through the use of the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Financing Act (CISFA) and other financing sources.
We will also work with the Local Government Units and the private sector, especially those in the financial sector, in coming up with new, innovative and sustainable housing and financial products that will provide access to housing to the marginalized and poor of our country.
We will strengthen government’s partnership with non-government organizations and support people’s initiative to provide the poor with housing.
We will create large-scale public works programs that can generate substantial number of jobs for poor men and women. At the onset of our term, we will emphasize labor-intensive public works programs that can generate significant numbers of jobs for our poor people and give them access to at least the minimum amounts of money, food and dignity needed for their daily survival and well-being. We will help those in the informal sector to avail of relevant incentives, services and benefits, such as access to social security and other forms of assistance.
Recognizing that the primary and most important resource of our country is its people, we will emphasize the creation of jobs that empower the work force, jobs that build capacity and create opportunities for the poor and marginalized. This requires advance training and preparation for appropriate skills needed for modern economy. This also presumes sound elementary and high school education. We promise to focus on generating jobs that will encourage entrepreneurship including-pro poor tourism. We will create an environment that is conducive to growth, competitiveness and full-employment.
Increased cooperation with local government units.
We will work with Local Government Units for the full implementation of the provisions of the UDHA and to empower them to address the housing needs of their constituents through existing provisions in the UDHA such as the provision of land for socialized housing and the inventory of informal settlers within their respective jurisdictions.
To encourage Local Government Units to take the lead in addressing housing needs, we will provide incentives to LGUs like co-financing schemes, technical assistance and other support services so that they could take an active role in socialized housing.
We will institutionalize and strengthen participatory shelter planning at the local level and identify other fund sources to support housing programs particularly for informal settlers at the local level.
I will make every effort possible to begin sustainable and uninterrupted peace negotiations in Mindanao. We will not give up this peace-making effort. We will respond to the needs of dislocated/displaced people in Mindanao due to continued conflict between Christian and Muslim brothers.
Post-Ondoy Rehabilitation Program.
We recognize that most people living in risk prone areas are forced by circumstances to live in these areas because government has failed to give them viable alternatives. This is the basic premise of the Post-Ondoy Rehabilitation Program.
We will appoint capable persons to plan and implement intensive post-Ondoy rehabilitation projects. We will explore new approaches that address both the housing and livelihood needs of affected families. We will review Executive Order 854 in consultation with the affected communities and look for appropriate solutions for the families living in Manggahan Floodway and Lupang Arenda. We will ensure that local and international public and private efforts are closely coordinated.
The appointment of reform-minded persons is essential to the attainment of the objective of HUDCC to institute reforms and steer this office and other shelter agencies to become more responsive, efficient and effective agencies in the delivery of housing services to poor families. Cabinet positions and portfolios including the Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries would be distributed among the three major islands (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) without sacrificing competence and trustworthiness criteria.
We will appoint a person with a track record and demonstrated capacity in delivering social housing as HUDCC Chairperson. We will appoint NGO and PO representatives in the boards of the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) and in the council of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council. We will also appoint an NGO representative with observer status to the board of the National Housing Authority (NHA). We will also appoint an NHA General Manager, the SHFC President and Chairman of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor in consultation with civil society groups.
Participation and stakeholdership.
We will emphasize the role of stakeholders in finding solutions to the problems that they face. In fact, the process that we will go through to provide the details of this plan we have presented today will be consultative and transparent.
All these goals with the urban poor will be part of our development agenda and platform to build an inclusive urban society.
[Archived from the official campaign web site of President Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino III]