Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. said he would bring back the Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services (BLISS) project to address the mounting housing backlog in the country should he win in the May 2022 national elections.
Speaking before a massive crowd during his recent campaign sortie in Quezon City, Marcos said that some of the original BLISS project started in the said city and stressed the need for a swift response to the country’s housing shortfall.
“Alam niyo po dito nagsimula yung BLISS housing development. Babalikan po natin yan. Dahil malaki talaga ang pagkukulang (ng pabahay) hindi lamang dito sa Quezon City, kundi sa buong Pilipinas,” Marcos said.
In 1984, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos distributed 25,000 land titles to housing beneficiaries from Balintawak, Quezon City, where he also inaugurated the New Teachers BLISS Condominium II, which still stands today and is now a thriving community.
The BLISS project was part of the Land for the Landless Program in Metro Manila that President Marcos started in 1981 to realize the hopes of the urban poor to have their land and their own homes.
The highly successful program was under the stewardship of then First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, who was also concurrent Minister of Human Settlement then.
According to government estimates, the country’s total housing demands will reach 6.8 million units by the end of 2022 and, if left unresolved, will reach 22 million units by 2040.
“Siguro ang kulang na pabahay sa Pilipinas ay six million na. At ibig sabihin, six million sa ating mga mamamayan, mga pamilya, sila ay squatter dun sa kanilang tinitirhan… Pagka-nagkataon sa panahon ko naman, gagawin ko hindi lamang sa Quezon City kundi sa buong Pilipinas,” Marcos added.
Marcos and his running-mate, Inday Sara Duterte, have vowed to pursue a holistic approach to resolving the housing needs of the poor through policy and legislative reforms.
One initiative unveiled by Marcos recently was his intention to revive Pag-IBIG’s 7-Day Take Out Policy to expedite the processing of low-cost housing loan applications.
Marcos and Duterte are expected to win in the upcoming polls, as virtually all pre-election surveys have shown that the duo is back by a large majority of the Filipino electorate.
OCTA Research released a pre-election survey on Monday that shows Marcos leading the other contenders for the presidency with his 57 percent voter preference, followed by his rival at only 22 percent.
Meanwhile, Inday Sara also posted a 57 percent voter preference and is being trailed by a fellow VP hopeful with only 23 percent voter preference.
Marcos is on the cusp of making history as the first majority president elected in a multi-party setup when he secures the mandate from the Filipino people.