One of the basis of a civilized society is the quality of living conditions of its poor and marginalized sector. I thought that low-income group always have to content themselves in squatters areas and not-so-good communities but I was wrong.
When I went to Singapore, everything I knew about urban development and housing for the masses changed. Its as if I was born again and woke up from a long, deep sleep realizing that there is hope in the Philippines and we can do something to improve the lives of the poor, the masses by starting with a “real” housing project.
The Housing and Development Board of Singapore has done an excellent job of addressing the issues surrounding public housing in Singapore during the 1960s. It was initiated by the People’s Action Party (PAP) thru its five year development plan to solve the increasing problem of squatters after Singapore gained its self-rule status after World War II.
I think we have something similar in the Philippines if you know the Bliss project started by Ferdinand Marcos under its Bagong Lipunan (New Society) party. I believe it was a promising project and mirrored something what Singapore did during its time. Some said that Marcos was also behind the idea of building such housing and collaborated with the Singapore government in coming up with such plan. I cannot verify if its true though. I cannot speak much about Philippine and Singapore history.
Let me show you some of these HDB projects in Singapore.
These HDB buildings are from Pasir Ris located in the North Eastern section of Singapore. It’s a rather beautiful place and near the famous Pasir Ris park where I spent most of my “crying moments” haha! That park is also near the beach and very refreshing and relaxing! I don’t dare swimming though since the water doesn’t seem to be that clean and besides I don’t see its permitted. There’s so much Beware signs around ;D
Singapore is a beautiful country, very organized. Their leaders teach us that the poor can live in dignity if only our politicians will act together and get their dirty “hands off the budget” and start doing real job for the benefit of the masses.
No one has to live in squatters area if only the taxes we pay goes directly to building social services that benefits everyone, especially the low-income group and the poor. We should fight corruption. How? I don’t know. But we need to start somewhere.