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When Four Walls and a Roof Are Not Enough: Human Security Issues of Resettlement in the Peri-Urban Fringe of Metropolitan Manila

While the provision by the government of a house and lot to homeless and impoverished beneficiaries may constitute a substantial form of public service delivery, it nevertheless may substitute for, or leave many other daily life problems unaddressed. Using Human Security and Urban Planning perspectives for two resettlement sites in the peri-urban fringe of Metro Manila, the Philippines, this research shows that new challenges associated with remote locations have entered the lives of housing beneficiaries. The narrations of the respondents further show that day-to-day routines revolve often around typical concerns relating to unemployment, the rearing of children, food availability, and the need to access medical facilities. It is argued hence that these and other concerns about the way low-cost housing is delivered should be addressed prospectively by policymakers and planners if one is to ensure that government intervention results in net added daily security rather than creating equivalent or worse states to the ones that had prevailed for slum dwellers in the inner city. The research contributes to the re-conceptualization or enrichment of "security" by showing that the pursuit of freedom from fear and freedom from want may include a significant spatial or geographic dimension, especially in the crowded megacities of Asia.


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