Addressing homelessness in Quezon Province

Businessman Fernando “Fer” Martinez, chairman of Eastern Petroleum and the Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association, is trying his hand at politics and is running in this year’s elections as congressional representative of the fourth district of Quezon Province.

Martinez wants to help Quezon, including providing relocation and jobs to the homeless there, noting that there are tens of thousands of families living by the railroad tracks in the province.

It will be a homecoming of sorts if Martinez wins because he started his professional life in government, particularly, at the Development Academy of the Philippines. He then joined the Ministry of Human Settlements in the 1980s and was also the principal author of the Kabisig mobilization plan, a village-based volunteers’ movement which helped more than 10,000 barangays.

Martinez, who graduated cum laude from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Economics degree, is excited to bring his economics expertise to the district.

He said, he cannot turn a blind eye to the problem of homelessness as well as joblessness in the province. He is ready to go back to public service and apply his skills as a businessman to help in his home province.

Martinez said he plans to address homelessness in Quezon by providing relocations within the growth areas so that the settlers would not have a difficult time adjusting.

To fund these initiatives, he said, he could partner with both the national government and the private sector.