KABAYAN: TOO MUCH POLITICS IMPERIL
12 November 2005
country’s housing problem should be spared from too much political
bickering which often hinders important government programs that seek
to uplift the plight of the people, especially the poor.
This was the
emphatic message of Vice President Noli ‘Kabayan’ De Castro, also the
concurrent chairman of the Housing
and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) in a speech he
delivered at the Habitat
for Humanity Philippines Foundation, Inc.’s “An Evening with
Friends of Habitat” at The Conservatory, Manila Peninsula in Makati
President De Castro admitted that he was taken aback when some groups
that are distrustful of the administration, dug up all sorts of
anomalies and intrigues to derail major government projects.
magagandang proyekto ang pamahalaan ang naaantala dahil lamang sa labis
na pamumulitika. Hindi man lang nila inisip na ang mga mamamayan mismo
ang patuloy na naghihirap dahil sa matagal na pagpapatupad ng mga
pagbabago at proyektong dapat na nilang tinatamasa.
particular, the Vice President mentioned he saw this happen in North
Rail, where their efforts to relocate some 40,000 families living in
slums along the railway from Metro Manila to Pampanga were being
opposed by some groups who even sought a temporary restraining order
from the Supreme Court. He saw no other reason for this other than
President De Castro was appalled to learn that these groups were led
not by the slum-dwellers who stand to benefit from the relocation, but
by outsiders. He later learned that majority of the north rail settlers
have already volunteered for resettlement, yet these small groups who
are sowing confusion and false hopes are getting much of the attention.
But the Vice
President shifted to a more positive gear when he acknowledged the
invaluable participation of a non-government, non-partisan group like Habitat
for Humanity that is quietly and diligently spearheading housing
projects in different parts of the country. With groups like Habitat
for Humanity, he hoped that leaders from opposing sides of the
political fence would be encouraged to stop throwing mud at each other,
and instead use cement and concrete blocks of dedication and integrity
to build strong houses of public service.
To show gratitude to Habitat members, Vice President De Castro claimed
that the national government is happy to play a supporting role to
groups like the Habitat for Humanity, if it means providing safe and
decent homes to poor Filipino families more quickly and efficiently.