SAN JOSÉ DEL MONTE City, Bulacan, September 27, 2014—“Without God, a house cannot be called a home.”
This statement pretty much sums up the speech Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle gave recently during the groundbreaking of a Church-funded housing project that will rise in Muzon, San José del Monte City, Bulacan, which aims to benefit low-income employees of the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM).
“Aside from nourishment, education, and safety, what all humans need in order to live a decent life is a roof above their heads,” he added.
“We cannot overemphasize the need to address this urgent concern for urban housing, especially in the light of many who continue to be displaced by natural and man-made disasters and calamities. Millions of Filipinos have no roof above their heads, or a shelter to protect them from the elements. Some lived in depraved conditions not worthy of the dignity of God’s children,” he added.
But this need for shelter, explained the cardinal, is not exclusively biological in nature.
He stressed that a house’s function goes beyond merely ensuring an individual’s physical comfort, to include that of the family, which, as the basic unit of society, can give that individual the love, warmth, and security he needs.
“That is why a house is a home in so far as it is rooted in the inherent dignity, not just of the individual, but of his family,” said Tagle.
According to the prelate, the protection the Church can give takes on different forms, including shelter.
The cardinal emphasized that while the Church is in no way a housing agency, she is doing all she can to help eradicate homelessness.
“A housing project like this is a reminder to both the government and to people who have a generous heart that the problem of homelessness in the country is a very serious one,” Tagle said.
“A single sector cannot address this issue on its own, and this housing project is but a humble contribution compared to the big issue that confronts it. Only 73 units…millions of homeless Filipinos. These may be like drops in a bucket. But then, these same drops make a bucketful,” shared Tagle.
Fr. Carlos Reyes, executive director of Domus Mariae Foundation, RCAM’s housing arm, pointed out that San José del Monte’s Domus Mariae Village II will be developed into a socialized housing project, with each unit prized at P450,000, payable through Pagibig housing loan for a 25-year amortization period. (Raymond A. Sebastián with reports from Lloyd Ranque/PCUP)