By Mario Casayuran | Manila Bulletin
The UniTeam is committed to providing every Filipino an equal opportunity and a fighting chance in life including those who are living in the streets, presidential aspirant Ferdinand ‘’Bongbong’’ R. Marcos Jr. on Saturday, Jan. 29 said.
If given the mandate in this year’s elections, the UniTeam plans to intensify the government’s program for “homeless people” to give them roof over their heads and keep them off the streets, he added.
Based on research undertaken by The Borgen Project in 2020, there are an estimated 4.5 million “homeless Filipinos,” or those living in the streets.
Of the said number, 250,000 of them are children, who were displaced owing to unemployment, domestic abuse, human trafficking, and poverty that have forced them to stay in the streets.
According to Marcos, the government has an existing program for homeless people like free education for street children, the only concern is that many of them continue to flee and return to the streets.
He recommended that the program’s implementation be strengthened.
“Maganda ‘yung programa ng ating pamahalaan para sa mga kababayan natin na nasa lansangan, payak ngunit maayos naman ‘yung mga pasilidad na kanilang pansamantalang tinitirhan (The current program of the Duterte administration is the facilities is organized)… Ang problema lang ay mas pinipili pa rin ng iba na tumakas at manirahan sa lansangan (The problem is rhey chose to leave and stay in the streets),” Marcos said.
“Siguro ‘yung mabagal na pagpapatupad ng mga ipinangako sa kanila ang isa sa dahilan kung bakit bumabalik sila sa lansangan, tulad na lamang ng pabahay at mga trabahong para sa kanila (It is possible that the reason why return to the streets is that government promises are slow to be implemented),” he added.
The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard bearer added that if elected, he would speed up and improve on the program’s implementation.
He also plans to add the availability of psychological assessments, training at TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development. Authority), and liaise with private companies, government agencies, and local government units (LGUs) to immediately give them jobs.
“Isa sa nakikitang paraan ay pabilisin ang pagpapatupad ng programa (One solution is an accelerated implementation of the program), gusto ko rin pagtibayin ang psychological assessment para masiguro na maintindihan nilang mabuti ‘yung magandang hangarin ng pamahalaan sa kanila (I want to strengthen psychological assessment so that they understand government plans for them), ” he continued.
“At siyempre para sa ikakaayos ng kanilang sitwasyon, i-train natin sila sa TESDA, makipag-ugnayan tayo sa mga pribadong kumpanya, ahensya ng gobyerno at LGUs para agad na mabigyan sila ng trabaho pagkatapos ng kanilang training (And of course, they should be trained by TESDA, we should coordinate with private companies, government agencies and local government units) so that they would be given jobs after their training),” the PFP standard bearer added.
He also suggested that the homeless people must also be assured that family members remain together in the same facility to maintain their bond and encourage them to look after the welfare of each other.
Marcos added that homeless people will be taught how to manage a small business properly so that they may earn sustainable and more stable income when they choose to leave the facility in the future.