Opposition Senator Chiz Escudero challenged big landowners to give up part of their property so that it can be developed into permanent relocation sites for typhoon victims.
“I call on on those who own tracts of land to give up portions so that these lands can be converted into relocation sites for these victims,” Escudero said. “If they have a hundred hectares, perhaps it will not be too much to ask for them to donate 10 hectares.”
The 40-year old lawmaker pointed out that despite the decades-old implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), only 17 percent of the targeted 1.5 million hectares of private lands have been transferred to tenants.
“This is the time for big landowners to show their compassion by acting on their own, without compulsion from government, to help those who are in dire need of places to stay,” he said.
Escudero issued the appeal after the NDCC reported that tens of thousands victims of Ondoy, Pepeng, Ramil, and Santi remain in makeshift relocation centers, mostly in central and northern Luzon.
“Thousands of Filipino families who reside in flood basins and along lakes, rivers and waterways became homeless. Many of them lost everything, while some lost their loved ones,” he said.
“In the past weeks we have seen how we Filipinos can rise to the occasion and help our less fortunate brothers and sisters. We have seen how far we can go to help. Now, we must take our efforts to the next level and work to provide a more lasting solution to the problem of loss of homes and livelihood,” Escudero said.
The young senator also called on big businessmen to invest in setting up factories and businesses in the relocation sites to give typhoon survivors a genuine fresh start.
The lawmaker saw for himself how difficult it was for typhoon victims to relocate during a disaster. He said measures like these would contribute in easing the pain of people who lost their homes.
“Pairalin ang diwa ng bayanihan at kabayanihan, lalo na sa mga panahong ito. Kailangan ipagpatuloy nating lahat ang pagtulong sa mga biktima ng mga kalamidad ,” he said.#