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‘Strange view on law enforcement’ may explain current mess at HLURB

Neal Cruz is to be complimented for beginning to lift the lid on the serious problems at the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board or HLURB (“Something is rotten in the state of HLURB,” Opinion, 12/1/13).

Posted: December 9th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Something is rotten in the state of HLURB

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The Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) was created to regulate subdivisions and their homeowners’ associations, and the Magna Carta for Homeowners defines the rights and duties of homeowners. The Magna Carta provides, among others, why and how association officers can be removed from office. But it emphasizes that there should always be “due process,” which is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Posted: December 1st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The road to a housing solution

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Since the start of President Aquino’s administration, urban poor people have worked with then Secretary Jesse Robredo and later with Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to come up with a housing plan acceptable to both the poor and the government.

Posted: September 18th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Simple solution to squatter problem

There is a simple solution to the grave squatter problem besetting Metro Manila. The operative words are “affordable and accessible.” Informal settlers insist on occupying lands in the urban centers because it is where job opportunities, schools and other amenities are accessible. However, lands in urban centers are not affordable. On the other hand, sites in the “boondocks” are not acceptable to the informal settlers because they are not accessible.

Posted: July 29th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Informal settlers and water rates

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I haven’t done an actual count, but it seems that the past week has had more than its share of news stories worthy of comment or analysis, and I don’t want to pass up the chance to get in my licks. So I ask the Reader for her forbearance as I tackle more than one issue in this column, not necessarily in the order of their importance.

Posted: July 5th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Uprooted

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The 1988 report of the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues used “Uprooted” to describe individuals and communities displaced from their original areas of settlement. With Nippon Foundation support, Prince Hassan bin Talal, a member of the commission, convened last month the 5th West Asia North Africa (WANA) Forum to revisit the issue.

Posted: July 5th, 2013 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Too many condos for the rich but none for the poor

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Isn’t it ironic that with all the gleaming high-rise condominium buildings mushrooming all over the urban areas, there is no housing for poor squatters? Everything is for the rich.

Posted: June 27th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Weddings on Estero de San Miguel

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My wife Alice and I were ninang and ninong recently to 24 couples who were married on the banks of Estero de San Miguel. The estero hasn’t been a famous venue for weddings, to say the least, but in the near future we may be surprised.

Posted: April 16th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

So near, yet so far

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Consider the following issues that persistently hound us and get in the way of our ability to move toward more inclusive growth and development:

Posted: January 28th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Navotas housing project should serve as trailblazer

I must commend the housing project in Navotas, which is aptly called the Navotaas Residences, whose housing units were offered to deserving families that lost their homes, mostly shanties, in a fire. The would-be residents will pay for their own power and water consumption, and a monthly maintenance fee (a sort of rental fee) of P500 in exchange for their privilege to use the housing unit for 25 years, with an option to renew for another 25 years upon proof of faithful compliance with their obligations. I find such arrangement unique and truly pro-poor. I hope that such project would serve as a trailblazer in local governance, especially in Quezon City where I used to live.

Posted: December 7th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

The triple-jump fish

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The fish in the frying pan began to worry as he felt the pan grow warm. When it was hot, he said to himself, “This is not a good place for me,” and, gathering his strength, jumped out of the pan and into the fire. He quickly realized the fire was also not a place for him. Again he gathered his strength—it was harder this time—and jumped from the fire all the way to the edge of the estero. “Now I’m safe,” he said. But the people there told him no one is allowed within three meters of the water, and both people and fish found that they would be sent to Calauan 100 kilometers away. The fish quickly made one last effort and landed in the refreshing waters of the estero, newly cleaned by the people living on the banks. They called him the “3-jump fish.”

Posted: December 3rd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Taxation without protection

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Like many government employees with fixed incomes and meager savings, my wife Karina and I have worried about not being able to help our children when they start searching for a permanent home of their own. Our situation is not very different from that of lower-middle-class employees in the private sector who hope to own a house at some point. Unless they work for a company with a housing plan, they usually end up renting apartments all their lives. Responding to this need, Hasik, the nongovernment organization that Karina headed in the 1990s, conceived of a housing collective for its staff that could serve as a model for young people who are just starting to save for a house.

Posted: September 8th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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