Metro Manila homes reduced to housing – UP professor
MANILA, Philippines – Homes have been reduced to houses. This was the sentiment aired by University of the Philippines economics professor Chester Arcilla on Saturday, February 24.
Arcilla began his talk by asking the audience how they define a "home."
Participants candidly responded that a home, beyond being any structure for shelter, should be a well-lit, spacious, and accessible refuge where one proudly lives with one's family.
This, contrasted to budget-constricted urban government housing, which has apparently been built below satisfactory living standards.
"We made a home a commodity...We have reduced it to a commodity that it should be placed in a space with highest profits and with the fastest turnover. It must be produced in a way that's profitable and in the fastest way possible...We have reduced home to housing as simply a commodity," Arcilla said during the UrbanisMO urban development forum in Ateneo law school.
He said that because building homes have been framed within the limits of this mindset, the quality of houses provided by the government has been compromised, consequently leaving the poor resorting to informal settlements.
He flashed photos of urban housing in Manila and emphasized how they are inadequate for the capital region's poorest.
Arcilla asks the audience what a “home” means.— Rambo Talabong (@rambotalabong) February 24, 2018
He then asks if all citizens deserve a home.
Then, he asks if people who do have a home deserve a home like that of what the poorest in Metro Manila have. He flashes the photo below. #UrbanisMO pic.twitter.com/fO1QPYYj61
Arcilla presented three points of action for better urban housing for the poor.
First, he said the government should problematize the scale of property projects from individual to community-based planning.
He then said urban planning and housing should be "democratized", which means including the homeless and the poor in the decisions.
Lastly, authorities should build more public spaces, Arcilla said. – Rappler.com
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