MANILA— Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday said he plans to give houses to all informal settlers in the country in "3 to 4 years," but stopped short of confirming if this would be his platform in his rumored 2022 presidential bid.
It is possible to give houses to the 1.9 million informal settler families in the Philippines if government leaders "have generosity in their hearts," Pacquiao said in a press conference.
"In 3-4 years lang mabibigyan na ng pabahay ang mga walang bahay," he said.
(In 3-4 years we can give houses to those who have none.)
"Sa hard-earned money ko na kinikita sa boxing, nakapagbigay ako ng libong pabahay... Nakaya ko na ako lang. Paano pa kaya 'yung pera sa gobyerno na napakalaki at ninanakaw lang?" said Pacquiao, who grew up in poverty but, through boxing, turned his and his family's life around.
(I have given thousands of houses using my hard-earned money from boxing... I did it by myself. What more if we will use government funds which are huge but are just being stolen?)
Building thousands of housing units for the poor will also benefit the economy as at least 53 industries would benefit from these projects, the senator said.
"'Yan ang desire ko mula pa noon bago pa ako mapasok sa pulitikang ito, 2004 pa lang. Pangarap ko na 'yan na magbigay ng mga pabahay dahil sa mga blessings ng Panginoon sa akin," the senator said.
(That has been my desire even before I entered politics in 2004. It has been my dream to donate houses in exchange for the blessings the Lord gave me.)
Pacquiao also urged the public to help him achieve his dream of providing houses for all Filipinos by joining his fight against corruption.
"Tulungan ninyo po ako, magsama-sama po tayo para sugpuin ang korapyon," said Pacquiao, who recently exposed alleged corruption in the use of funds for pandemic cash aid.
(Help me, let us unite to fight corruption.)
"Hindi lang sila matanggal sa serbisyo pero magsama-sama sila sa kulungan," he said.
(They won't just be removed from government, but they will also rot together in jail.)
When asked if these would be his platforms for his rumored presidential bid next year, Pacquiao said: "Bago mag-October 1 at saka natin pag-usapan ang about politics. May ilang araw at linggo pa."
(Let's talk about politics before October 1. We have a few days and weeks left.)