Tag Archives: right to housing

[In the news] Use ‘pork’ for more housing -SunStar.com

Use ‘pork’ for more housing
By Princess Dawn H. Felicitas, SunStar.com
February 17, 2013

sunstar-network copyCEBU CITY — Urban poor families in Cebu City want aspiring senators and congressmen to allocate funds, if they win, to buy lots where the poor can build permanent homes.

Some urban poor groups submitted Saturday a four-page covenant for decent and affordable housing to Liberal Party (LP) candidate Paulo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, a first cousin of President Benigno Aquino III, during his visit in the city.

The same covenant will be given to other politicians running for office on May 13.

It asks the candidates to set aside one to three percent of their Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel, if they win, to purchase lots for the urban poor.

A portion, they said, can also be used for housing programs and livelihood.

Sought for comment, Aquino said he cannot promise anything yet, but that he is in favor of the idea.

Every year, a senator gets P200 million in project funds and each member of the House of Representatives gets P70 million.

Read full article @www.sunstar.com.ph

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[Appeal] Letter of Barangay Luz demolition victims to Supreme Court -TFUC Cebu

BARANGAY LUZ URBAN POOR FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION (BLUPFO)
Sitios Lubi, Nangka, Mabuhay, Barangay Luz, Cebu City
Cell No. 0921-6080346

LETTER OF BARANGAY LUZ DEMOLITION VICTIMS TO SUPREME COURT

October 15, 2012

Hon. Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno
Chief Justice
Supreme Court of the Philippines
Padre Faura Street, Manila 1000

Dear Supreme Court Chief Justice and Members,

Greetings of Peace!

We are writing in order to inform your honors of our horrible situation after your decision on our case.

Acting upon your order (Civil Case No. Ceb 18352 : Anselma Conag, et al vs. Province of Cebu, et al), the Regional Trial Court 11, under Judge Ramon Daomilas, ordered the demolition of our 32 households located in Sitios Nangka, Mabuhay and Lubi at Barangay Luz, Cebu City.

The demolition was started on October 8, 2012 and would continue this week. The implementation of demolition is staggered. The demolition team has demolished already nine households last week in Sitio Mabuhay rendering some of us homeless. There are 23 households left to be demolished this week.

The nine demolished households in Mabuhay are not provided with adequate relocation with facilities as the Local Government of Cebu City is ill-prepared for the situation. We are now living and stockpiling our stuff in side streets. We have no kitchen, water and electricity. We have not received the financial assistance from the Local Government, except for a few tents and food for 3 days.

We are conscious that before a demolition would be implemented, there should be available “Adequate resettlement site and relocation facilities” as EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 152 dated December 10, 2002 provides. The absence of “adequate resettlement and relocation facilities” and the non-existence of facilitative actions by the Local Government violate the procedure on demolition.

We are sure that the remaining 23 households which will be demolished starting October 16, 2012 will suffer the same situation. One of our members was told by a staff of the Cebu City Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor that the 32 areas listed as relocation site have already claimants or owners and we will be “assumees.”

We are thus asking your Honors to stop the demolition as the Local Government Unit of Cebu City has not provided us with “adequate resettlement site and relocation facilities” in gross violation of the law.

The Cebu City Council, whose majority is the opposition political party, disapproved the executive’s request for funds for on-site relocation. Moreover, Cebu City Councilor Nida Cabrera who belongs to the majority bloc politically opposed to the Executive, is the strong official who controls the Homeowners’ Associations (HOA) implementing the Community Mortgage Program (CMP). She is bent on getting rid of the 32 households, and replace us with suspected professional squatters (please see attachment for more details on the list of illegal assumees, and why they are deemed professional squatters).

We hope that you will find this request very urgent as demolition has continued and we have nowhere to go.

Thank you very much.

Very truly yours,

Generosa Corbeta (SGD.)
President

Lucena Fabular (SGD.)
Vice President

SIGNED BY 32 HOUSEHOLDS

[In the news] Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama asks court to postpone demolition of houses in Bry. Luz | Sun.Star

Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama asks court to postpone demolition of houses in Bry. Luz | Sun.Star.

By Jujemay G. Awit

THE Cebu City Government will intervene in the impending demolition of the homes of 36 families in three sitios in Barangay Luz.

The families from Sitios Nangka, Lubi and Mabuhay received a notice to demolish last Nov. 3.

In a letter to Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 11 Judge Ramon Daomilas Jr., who penned the notice to demolish, Mayor Michael Rama asked for a six-month postponement of the demolition.

Rama wants time to look for a relocation site for the families that will be displaced, as well as allow the City Government to investigate what happened.

“Why is the Philippine Commission for the Urban Poor only prioritizing those in Mahiga Creek?” asked Evangeline Abejo, president of the Nasudnong Katawhang Kabus Federation in Cebu City, which assisted the Barrio Luz Urban Poor Federation in their bid not to have their homes demolished.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Bistek’ to sign QC socialized housing ordinance – www.abs-cbnnews.com

Bistek’ to sign QC socialized housing ordinance
by Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Quezon City’s Socialized Housing Tax Ordinance (SHTO) has passed third and final reading in the city council on Monday.

Mayor Herbert Bautista is expected to sign the new ordinance on Tuesday, and it will be fully implemented by January of 2012.

In a press conference Monday morning, city councilors led by Vice-Mayor Joy Belmonte defended the SHTO, which will impose an additional 0.5% tax on land owners in quezon city.

Only homeowners with city-assesed real property values exceeding P100,000 will be covered by the new tax.

Belmonte said the ordinance is just and necessary to give informal settler families a better quality of life, which in turn will spur further development in the city.

“We are appealing to the compassion of our homeowners na sana magbigay tayo ng konti para ang ating mga kapatid na hindi nagkakaroon ng oportunidad na magkaroon ng disenteng tahanan, na magkaroon din ng pagkakataong ito,” said Belmonte.

Read full article @ www.abs-cbnnews.com

[In the news] QC informal settlers resist demolition; negotiations ongoing – Inquirer.net

QC informal settlers resist demolition; negotiations ongoing.

By Chona Yu, Karen Boncocan
990AM, INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippine – Tensions rose as authorities attempted to demolish some 1000 houses in Barangay (village) Old Balara in Quezon City Wednesday morning but authorities are trying to prevent an outbreak of violence through negotiations, according to reports culled by INQUIRER.net.

A 990AM report said residents became hostile as they prevented the demolition team together with some 200 policemen deployed in the area from taking down their homes. Some residents also barricaded the middle of Commonwealth Avenue, causing traffic in the area.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

[Press Release] Violence, demolition threaten Calamba community – Partido ng Manggagawa

Shots were fired and stones were hurled at the houses of two leaders of an urban poor community that is being threatened by demolition. The incidents happened late night of Friday as residents of a community at Purok 3, Barangay Makiling in Calamba, Laguna were resting and sleeping.

“We call on Mayor Jun Chipeco of Calamba and newly reappointed DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo to assist the urban poor of Calamba who are being threatened by an illegal demolition,” stated Ramil Cangayo, coordinator of the Calabarzon chapter of Alyansa ng Maralitang Lungsod (AMP), a national network of urban poor organizations that is campaigning for a moratorium on demolitions, reforms in the housing policy and housing security of informal settlers.

At 11:45 pm last Friday three shots were fired at a light bulb in the house of Zeny Martirez, treasurer of the Samahang Magkakapitbahay Magkakaibigan Kapuso (SMMK). The shards fell on the face of her child who sustained injuries. The family recovered two bullet fragments inside their house. Earlier at 10:00 pm stones were thrown at the house of Mike Brendes, auditor of the group. Martirez and Brendes filed a report at the barangay yesterday about the incidents. SMMK leaders suspect the violent harassment is connected to the demolition being threatened by barangay captain Soliman Lajara and a certain Cao of Galaxy Realty Corp which owns the lot on which the community stands.

“Some 86 families are now living in fear because of the harassment and threats. Cao and Lajara are warning the residents that they must leave tomorrow or else be demolished. However there is no demolition order so clearly this is illegal,” Cangayao explained.

The leaders and members of SMMK had staged a rally and held a dialogue with Mayor Chipeco last May 10. Negotiations with the mayor’s office are still ongoing.

file photo source: flickr.com

Renato Magtubo, national chair of Partido ng Manggagawa, called on President Benigno Aquino III to sign a draft executive order providing for a moratorium on demolitions and evictions. “The spate of violent demolitions in Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Metro Cebu reveal the need for a moratorium on evictions. During the pendency of the moratorium, government must hold an honest dialogue with the urban poor for strategic solution to the problem of housing for the poor,” he explained.

PM and AMP and are involved in the consultations held by the cabinet level task force headed by Secretary Robredo with the mandate to formulate and recommend policy resolutions on the housing issues confronting the urban poor. An executive order for the moratorium drafted as a result of the consultations has remained unsigned by President Aquino.

Press Release
May 29, 2011
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Ramil Cangayao @ 09108676990

[Press Release] Groups rally against “balik-probinsya program,” call for moratorium on demolitions- Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and the Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP) mobilized its members for a rally led by the urban poor alliance Kilos Maralita at the HUDCC main office in Makati. Some 500 urban poor picketed the Atrium Building in Makati this morning.

“The proposed balik-probinsya program is a wrong solution to the problem. The urban poor built the cities and we are entitled to live in it,” declared Ramil Cangayao, an AMP leader.

Some 500,000 informal settlers are set to be relocated to the provinces under the balik-probinsya program proposed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). After the HUDCC rally, the protesters also proceeded to the DAR main office at the Elliptical Road in Quezon City to continue the rally. The groups lambasted the balik-probinsya proposal.

The groups also called on President Benigno Aquino III to sign a draft executive order that provides for a moratorium on demolitions and evictions. “The spate of violent demolitions in Metro Manila and other areas, such as the Laperal compound, reveal the need for a moratorium on evictions. During the pendency of the moratorium, government must hold an honest dialogue with the urban poor for strategic solution to the problem of housing for the poor,” explained Cangayao.

AMP is a network of urban poor organization in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon that is campaigning for a moratorium on demolitions, reforms in the housing policy and housing security of informal settlers.

PM, AMP and Kilos Maralita are involved in the consultations held by the cabinet level task force headed by Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo with the mandate to formulate and recommend policy resolutions on the housing issues confronting the urban poor. An executive order for the moratorium drafted as a result of the consultations has remained unsigned by President Aquino.

Ed Casuy, leader of the Paranaque chapter of AMP, said that “We appeal to PNoy to make good on his campaign promise that he will declare a moratorium on demolitions and evictions. This is a promise that has remained unfulfilled to this day. Everyday that PNoy delays implementing a moratorium, more urban poor fall victim to illegal and violent demolitions and evictions.”

“Are vested interests with connections to key officials of PNoy blocking the draft moratorium order? Or has PNoy himself turned his back on his promise to the urban poor? The urban poor will not stop hounding PNoy in order to know the answer,” Casuy asked.

Press Release
May 16, 2011
Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino

[In the news] Aquino govt eyes distribution of 1.5 million hectares of farm land to informal settlers – Interaksyon.com

Aquino govt eyes distribution of 1.5 million hectares of farm land to informal settlers – Interaksyon.com.

Jakarta, Indonesia – The Aquino administration is eyeing the distribution of some 1.5 million hectares of farm land to an initial 560,000 informal settler families in Metro Manila in a bid to decongest the capital and improve agricultural production nationwide, President Benigno Aquino III said.

“One out of four families in Metro Manila are informal settlers. The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment inventory shows we can lend, lease or give two hectares of land per indigent family provided they cultivate agricultural crops, develop, and earn from the land they will live on,” President Benigno Aquino III said in a tete-a-tete with the media at the Four Seasons Jakarta Saturday night.

Read full article @ InterAksyon.com

Urban Poor Ask Supreme Court to Order Compliance of RA 7279 in Manila Bay Clean Up

Source urbanpoorassociates.blogspot.com

Urban Poor Associates (UPA) filed on Thursday before the Supreme Court a motion to issue order for compliance with Republic Act 7279 prior to demolition and/or eviction of informal settlers. This is an appeal on the high court’s decision on the implementation of the Manila Bay clean up rendered last February 15.

The Court orders Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to come up with the lists of informal settlers living along the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers, the NCR (Parañaque-Zapote, Las Piñas) rivers and the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros Rivers and the LGUs outside Metro Manila for the list of informal settlers along Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando (Bulacan) rivers, the Talisay (Bataan) River, the Imus (Cavite) river, the Laguna De Bay and Connecting waterways.

The high Court even set a timeline up to December 31, 2012 and 2015 for the full implementation of the demolition of houses and removal of the informal settlers.

PRESS RELEASE
March 31, 2011
Urban Poor Associates

However, UPA and other other movants Community Organizers Multiversity (COM), Community Organization of the Philippine Enterprise (COPE), Kabalikat sa Pagpapaunlad ng Baseco (KABALIKAT), Ugnayan Lakas ng mga Apektadong Pamilya sa Baybaying Ilog Pasig (ULAP) and residents along Radial 10 (R10) Boulevard in Tondo, Manila, found the court’s resolution silent as to the observance and compliance of the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 (RA 7279) which lays down requisites before eviction and/or demolition is enforced.

In a fifteen-page motion, the urban poor group through their lawyer, Ritche Esponilla, stressed that the effort in the rehabilitation of the Manila Bay should not be at loggerheads with the basic [human] rights accorded to the underprivileged and homeless citizens guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution itself.

RA 7279 requires that urban poor whose houses are subject to demolition should be notified 30 days before. It also compels consultation and relocation to the affected underprivileged citizens, and without such compliance there must be no evictions or demolitions.

UPA said with the SC decision shanties of 129,606 urban poor families surrounding Manila Bay are in danger of being demolished without relocation.

“There is an urgent need that the Court issues an order for compliance of requisites set out by RA 7279 prior to demolition and/or eviction to protect the housing rights of the poor. While the clean up is valuable it must not come at the expense of displacing thousands of urban poor families already marginalized by society,” Atty. Esponilla said.

“We must also remember that the high Court already recognized that this endeavor (preservation of Manila Bay) cannot go against the right of those whose dwellings are in danger of being torn down. In its ruling on October 2009, it emphasized that it does not give the MMDA and other concerned government agencies the power to evict any individual from his or her home without first giving notice,” he added.

UPA said President Benigno Aquino III tasked Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to form a technical working group (TWG) that would study issues/concerns of the urban poor. This TWG is already working.

UPA field director Alicia Murphy concluded, “The waterways dwellers are working hard to implement their dream of on-site housing through the TWG. We even came up with a housing proposal along waterways designed by Palafox architects that would not interfere with the cleaning of Manila Bay and the Pasig river. We believe that efforts on restoring the beauty of Manila Bay must be equipped with a comprehensive and decent housing program for the welfare of the poor. In this way, we will be able to preserve lives – the life of the poor and the life of the Bay.

Spare us from cleanup, Manila Bay squatters urge high court – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

Spare us from cleanup, Manila Bay squatters urge high court – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos.

By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Source: Inquirer.net, Filed Under: Philippines – Metro, Poverty, Environmental Issues, Judiciary (system of justice), Housing & Urban Planning, Human Rights

MANILA, Philippines—An urban poor group has called on the Supreme Court not to allow what it claimed was the illegal demolition of shanties of squatters living along the shores of Manila Bay and its major tributaries after the tribunal ordered government agencies to clean up the bay last month.

The Urban Poor Associates and other militant groups told the Supreme Court that it should ensure that all demolitions and evictions of squatters living on or along the bay complied with Republic Act No. 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992.

The groups pointed out that RA 7279 required that a 30-day notice be given to urban poor whose houses were to be demolished. They added that the law also compelled consultation with affected residents and their relocation, and that without such compliance, no demolition or eviction should take place.

“The effort to clean up Manila Bay should not be at loggerheads with the basic human rights accorded to the underprivileged and homeless citizens guaranteed by no less than the Constitution itself,” UPA lawyer Ritche Esponilla said in the petition.

The high court, in a decision on Feb. 15, ordered the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to come up by June 30 with the lists of squatters living along the rivers of Pasig, Marikina, San Juan, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Zapote, Navotas, Malabon, Tullahan and Tenejeros, all of which directly or ultimately drain into the Manila Bay.

The MMDA was also tasked to submit a plan for the removal of the squatters and the demolition of their shanties, which should be fully implemented not later than Dec. 31, 2015.

The Court also gave the same instructions to the local governments of Bulacan, Laguna, Bataan and Cavite in relation to the squatter communities along the Meycauayan, Marilao, Obando, Talisay and Imus rivers, which also drain into Manila Bay, and for those on Laguna de Bay and its connecting waterways.

The Manila Bay cleanup case stemmed from the suit filed by the Concerned Residents of Manila Bay led by lawyer and environmental activist Antonio Oposa Jr. before the Cavite Regional Trial Court in 1999.

The group had lamented the government’s continued neglect in cleaning up the bay, which is famous for its scenic sunset view. It is also the country’s busiest port and considered the finest harbor in the Far East.

The group won a landmark Supreme Court ruling in 1999 that ordered 12 government agencies to clean up Manila Bay, the country’s largest port, and regularly report their progress to the Court.

On Monday, Oposa filed a new civil action against 10 individuals who failed to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“I will withdraw the suit if they (government officials) swim in Manila Bay,” Oposa told GMANews.TV.

UPA said that with the Supreme Court directive, 129,606 urban poor families living along Manila Bay and its tributaries were in danger of being demolished without relocation.