barry gutierrezAkbayan party-list today welcomed the ratification of the Balanced Housing bill at the House of Representatives of which Akbayan was the primary author, saying the measure will strengthen the mandate to provide low-cost socialized housing to poor families.

"The Balanced Housing bill which will soon become law instructs real estate owners and developers to strictly implement socialized housing programs equivalent to at least 15% of development area or costs," explained Akbayan Rep. Barry Guterrez, “which provides low-income families with an opportunity to become homeowners instead of building shanties in waterways or private lands."

"If government ensures compliance, we will definitely see less violent demolitions because informal settlers will have better housing options," explained the primary author of the bill, "and at the same time remove more and more families from places that put them at risk of disasters, as informal settlers are often the most vulnerable to typhoons and floodings."

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akbayan2014The electorate has spoken, and its voice is unmistakable.  Akbayan expresses its profound gratitude to the voters who refreshed its mandate to serve in Congress, in local governance, and affirmed its mission to bring the voice of the marginalized and underrepresented to the Senate with Risa Hontiveros.

It is also to the credit of our tireless election personnel, teachers, poll watchers and other volunteers whose efforts helped ensure peaceful, credible elections that Akbayan and Risa will enjoy clear, unquestionable mandates.

Moreover, Akbayan's victory in local governance, in the House, and now in the Senate - with Risa at the helm - is shared with our alliance coalition and principled partnerships led by Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo. We now share the task with them to move the country towards healing and reconciliation and engage the new government in a programmatic, constructive and enlightened manner. 

Akbayan would like to believe that the result of the elections has been a recognition that gains have been made in our shared struggle for good governance and against corruption, but that much work still needs to be done in ensuring that these gains are felt concretely on the ground with the active participation of an empowered citizenry.

Madami nang naipanalo ang mamamayan. Ngunit tuloy pa ang laban para sa pantay na lipunan.

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zeroAkbayan party-list today reiterated its call for the enactment of urgent reforms to address and stave off incidence of hunger across the country.

"What the Kidapawan incident tells us is the urgency of taking immediate action to ensure the issue of hunger is addressed at its roots," said Akbayan nominee and Mindanaoan activist Tom Villarin.

"The problem is structural -- while the local government has the primary responsibility to respond to disasters and manage agriculture services as a devolved function, there should be concerted efforts to make sure LGUs can perform these functions effectively," said Akbayan Rep. Angie Katoh, also a Mindanaoan and long-time organizer.

"National government agencies need to work together to deliver sufficient and adequate food supplies down to the community level," added Villarin. "Further, national government should build up capacities of LGUs to respond to food shortages."

"A policy framework is needed to provide a point of convergence for national and local governments to do this," added Katoh. "The Right to Adequate Food bill, filed February 2014 would provide this framework."

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akbayan2014Akbayan wishes to expresses its sorrow over the tragedy that befell the protest action of farmers and activists in Kidapawan that resulted in a number of unnecessary deaths and dozens of injuries.

Akbayan demands a speedy, impartial investigation to ascertain the circumstances that led to the bloodshed, and from there, determine accountability.

We implore that this process be attended with a somber appreciation of the facts. That this be insulated from the electoral agenda of all candidates, including of those who organized the blockade.

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bbmAkbayan party-list today slammed Bongbong Marcos’s comic book circulated as campaign propaganda as the biggest joke of the 2016 elections.

“We were hoping the comic book was a prank, however the punchline is lost on us,” said Mindanaoan activist and Akbayan partylist first nominee Tom Villarin, “for the outright lies and deceit that it contains.”

“Bongbong is living in his own world,” added Akbayan Youth leader and partylist nominee Paeng David. “a world fictionalized by his comics, where Martial Law never happened, and his family were victims of EDSA 86.”

“It would be laughable if it weren’t dangerous,” added David. “The lies have gained traction and the public might be electing a liar responsible for billions of pesos of public funds stolen during Martial Law.”

According to Villarin, “Bongbong Marcos was an appointed official by his father, to Philcomsat, a known milking cow of his father during Martial Law. Bongbong had a hand in trying to withdraw millions of dollars in stolen money from Swiss bank accounts held under his father’s name.”

“ Bongbong was not an innocent bystander during Martial Law – he wanted to storm Crame at the height of EDSA 86,” stressed Villarin.

David said the public should be more discerning against claims that life was better during Marcos’s time. “Kleptocracy was the name of the game, Marcos and cronies were getting rich while the country sunk into debt that we are still paying for today.”

“Reject Bongbong as Vice-President and restore sanity to politics,” Villarin pleaded. “If another Marcos is elected into higher office the joke will be on us.”