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Author: Gerald M. Nicolas

Housing for those who need it most

Launched as soon as Jose Rizalino “Jerry” Acuzar was appointed head of the three-year-old Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), the Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Program undeniably created excitement, especially among ordinary Filipinos dreaming to have a home of their own. By tapping funds from the private…

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Who’s not touching some grass?

The people’s organizations our institute has been working with for various advocacies—from reforming government’s housing policies and programs to opposing the killings and senseless violence in the anti-illegal drug war—are throwing their support behind Vice President Leni Robredo. Even before she announced her decision to seek the country’s highest post,…

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A white sand beach in Manila Bay?

Who asked for a white sand beach in Manila Bay? Definitely not the 15,000 or so families languishing in poverty, hunger, and joblessness in Baseco, the biggest coastal informal settlement in Manila. Of course, the truckloads of crushed dolomite boulders that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) allowed…

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Stop calling Duterte ‘propoor’

Former finance secretary Roberto de Ocampo devoted almost a third of his column, “Federalism’s unpleasant surprise” (6/23/18), to heap praises on President Duterte. Wondering why the President still commands ardent support as indicated by his high approval ratings, he said, “It would be snooty and condescending to dismiss this popularity…

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Urban poor commission needs a champion

Hopes rose among the urban poor when President Duterte declared, during his first month in office, that his administration would not treat them like dogs by allowing the demolition of their houses. If relocation cannot be avoided, he said, he would be “very generous” and ensure the presence of job-creating…

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