Raffy Campos: Housing advocate

Raffy Campos: Housing advocate

Nov 15, 2021, 5:17 AM
James Veloso and Catherine Go

James Veloso and Catherine Go

Local Editor

"IN five years, San Pedro will be a progressive city, kung saan wala nang homeless."

That was the pledge given by incumbent San Pedro City councilor and vice mayoralty candidate Raffy Campos as he returns to the roots of his public service career for the 2022 elections.

Campos, was a former vice mayor from 2013 to 2016 and a city councilor from 2007 to 2013 and again from 2019.

For him, supporting the city government's socialized housing program for San Pedro will be a key component of his platform should he be given a chance to once again serve as vice mayor.

Not spare tire

According to him, being a vice mayor is more than being a spare tire.

From his past experience, his position had enabled him to be an active supporter of all projects and programs of the city government.

And should he be elected as vice mayor in 2022, Campos said he would like to focus on providing affordable housing for a city where warm bodies is one of its largest assets.

Problem to solve

“Hindi naman kaila sa mga taga-San Pedro na isa ang pagdami ng mga informal settler sa mga pinakamalaking problema na kailangang masolusyunan ng pamahalaang lungsod,” Campos said in a recent talk with OpinYon Laguna.

The fact that San Pedro City had become a prime choice of residence for those working in Metro Manila and nearby province has led to a population explosion – and a rise of informal settlers inside the city.

“Sa kasalukuyan, tantiya ng city government ay may 13,000 na mga informal settler sa loob ng San Pedro sa kasalukuyan,” Campos bared during the interview.

Danger zones

Most of these informal settlers live in so-called “danger zones” such as riverbanks and hillsides, which expose them to the risks brought by natural calamities such as floods and landslides.

Campos is cognizant of the fact that many of these informal settlers had jobs and livelihood inside San Pedro City and nearby cities and that relocating would prove inconvenient for them.

He noted that it is good that the city government under Mayor Lourdes “Baby” Cataquiz has been quietly drawing up plans for socialized housing projects inside the city.

"Para po sa akin, ang ultimate po na magagawa ng city government is to place a decent socialized housing program to be able to relocate the 13,000 informal settles [inside the city]," he explained.

Socialized housing

As head of the Committee on Commercial Land Use at the city's Sangguniang Panglungsod, Campos has spearheaded legislation to fulfill the city’s goals of socialized housing.

Among the ordinances he supported at the city council includes a measure which imposes a ten-year moratorium on commercial land developers from engaging in socialized-housing projects inside San Pedro City.

“Ibig pong sabihin nito, ang city government po ang magha-handle po ng program,” he added.

Mayor Cataquiz has also overseen the purchase of property that will be used for the city’s housing program, Campos noted.

“Nakabili na po tayo ng lupa sa Landayan, [at] nakabili na po tayo sa Bagong Silang,” he explained.

Medium-rise buildings

Due to the scarce land area in San Pedro, the dwindling number of vacant properties in the city, and rising land prices, the city government is now looking into constructing medium-rise buildings for its housing program, Campos added.

A few weeks ago, the city government has also entered a memorandum of understanding with the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), a government agency that facilitates financing low-cost social housing programs.

Campos also filed Resolution Number 2021-97 at the city council, which requests the Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development (DHSUD) for the development of the Bagong Silang property for the housing project.

“For me, that’s a big challenge, but I look forward to the day na dito sa San Pedro, wala nang landless,” Campos stressed.

(Editor’s Note: This is the second of OpinYon Laguna’s “Know Your Candidate” series for the 2022 elections)

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