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Aug 21st
Home Columns Ike Señeres Here Comes the “Indies”!
Here Comes the “Indies”! PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Ike Señeres
Written by Ike Señeres   
Friday, 15 October 2010 11:04



By Ike Señeres


T he “Indie” is a genre of rock music that emerged in the 1980s. Nowadays, the “Indie” is better known as a genre of cinematic films that are independently produced, as distinguished from those that are commercially produced by the big studios. The term has since evolved to refer to fashion items that are independently designed, as distinguished from those that are produced by the big designer names. If the trend will continue, the term Indie could eventually apply to any product that is independently produced.


There are many products that are coming from independent sources. Many of these sources are socially oriented, for instance the small and medium enterprises, the producer cooperatives and the livelihood associations, among others. Generally speaking, they do not have a problem with production, but almost always, their problem is in marketing, meaning that they always have a difficulty in selling what they produce.


Housing and livelihood are two public policy concerns that are seemingly not related to each other, but are actually directly connected in more ways than one. When I was with the Ministry of Human Settlements (MHS), I learned the lesson that housing beneficiaries need livelihood in order to earn the money to pay for their mortgage. I also learned that they needed marketing support, so that they could sustain their livelihood projects.


As far as I know, the government has not yet officially defined the meaning of “homelessness” in the parlance of governance. As it is generally used in other countries, “homeless” persons are those who do not have a place to stay, and that is the reason why they practically “live” in the streets. Here in the Philippines, we have come to recognize the existence of “street children”, but for some reason, we seemingly do not realize that these children have parents and other relatives who live in the streets too, thus making them “homeless” in effect.


A House Is Not Necessarily a Home


T he informal settlers who live in makeshift huts and other forms of shanties all over the country may have a “place to stay” so to speak, but their quarters could hardly be called “houses”, much less homes. A house is not necessarily a home as the saying goes, but more so if it is hardly a house, it would be very difficult to turn it into a home. Since their dwellings do not meet the standards of what a decent house should be, it would be more realistic for us to accept and recognize the fact that these settlers are in effect “homeless” in the proper context of the word.


Call me sentimental, but I consider as my “unfinished business” the objective of providing marketing support to the products coming from independent and socially oriented sources. I used to do this back when I was still with MHS, and I believe that I am in a better position now to pick up from where I left. Here comes the Indies!


I do not believe that I am directly in a position to do something about the problem of homelessness, but I know for a fact that with good marketing support, people could sustain their livelihood and would eventually be able to rent or buy a house once they have enough money. # # #


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Last Updated on Saturday, 06 November 2010 11:42

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