[Press Release] Metro Manila urban poor groups demand suspension of demolitions -KAMP

Metro Manila urban poor groups demand suspension of demolitions

In the face of an increased number of community demolitions and violent confrontations, some 500 members of urban poor groups in Metro Manila trooped to Mendiola this morning to demand that President Benigno Aquino III issue an Executive Order (EO) for the suspension of evictions.

The groups also called for another EO that will give a mandate to the Technical Working Group (TWG) on the urban poor that was formed in 2010 to manage the P10-B government fund allotted for the relocation of residents in danger zones in Metro Manila. The National Housing Authority (NHA) presently handles the fund but the agency’s only program is off-site relocation out of Metro Manila which is unacceptable to the urban poor groups.

The rallyists were led by Kilos Maralita (KM) and the Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP). Some leaders of KM and KAMP proceeded to Malacanang and presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda received the groups’ petition and the two resolutions approved by the urban poor
council of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) on the suspension of demolitions and P10-B fund.

The groups placed stress on the report of the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP) that in 2011, some 285 demolitions were conducted which affected 129,781 families. This was a huge jump from the 31 demolitions implemented in the last year of President Gloria Arroyo.

Of the demolitions in 2011, the PCUP reported that 143 were conducted in NCR which affected 62,034 families.

According to Teody Gacer, KM spokesperson, 70% of the demolitions were ordered by LGU’s in coordination with the NHA and 90% of the evictions were illegal since they did not follow requirements like census, certificate of compliance, due notice, consultation and lack of
relocation. Worse, Gacer said, seven of the demolitions ended in violence.

She also said that the report exposed the bankruptcy of LGU’s and the NHA to resolve the pressing concerns of the urban poor in a humane way. According to the groups, the failure is principally due to the lack of a new and clear direction by the Aquino administration on the housing needs of the urban poor.

05 June 2012
Contact: Bubuy Magahis

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