Urban poor in Tondo to protest impending demolition

MANILA, October 4, 2010—More than 500 families from the Isla Puting Bato, Collector’s Road, and Slip Zero marched from Plaza Zaragoza in Tondo, to the foot of the historic Don Chino Roces (formerly Mendiola) Bridge today, to protest the impending demolition of their houses come November 15, in order to give way to the Philippine Ports Authority’s’ and private corporations’ ‘developmental projects.’

In a statement, Joy Lumawod, secretary-general of the Tondo Foreshoreland People’s Alliance (TFPA) said that the current administration is not true to its words that it would uplift the lives of the poor.

Lumawod revealed that despite the expected notice of demolition on October 11, telling the people to vacate their shanties, the PPA does not have any concrete plans on where to relocate the affected residents, neither if there is a livelihood assistance for them in order to start anew in their new community.

Demolition in the first 100 days of P-Noy

“Within the first 100 days of P-noy (Pres. Aquino’s alias given by the media) in the Palace, significant numbers of demolition incidents and dislocation of urban poor families occurred. Instead of establishing a government that is building lives and communities, it seems that the Aquino administration is serving as vehicle to further destruct and destroy the pillars of our society,” laments the urban poor leader.

These past few days, there were demolitions happened in New Manila, in Quezon City; C5; Aqueduct area in Manila; Sitio San Roque in EDSA, Quezon city, that has turned violent as residents fought, tooth and nail to defend their shanties against the demolition teams; Davila St. in Navotas City; Brgy. Corazon de Jesus in San Juan City;  and Port Area in Tondo.

More shanties to be demolished—PCUP

Data from the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP) shows that 75, 252  poor families, from different places in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, are to be evicted from their homes as owners of the lands had acquired demolition orders from court and the local or national government unit had decided to relocate them as they were living in a “danger zone.”

While there is an existing program—the Emergency Land Acquisition for Victims of  Eviction and Demolition (ELAVE), with P100 million as start-up funds, PCUP admits that only seven per cent (7%) of the said number, or only 5,267 families can avail of the program, for now.

There are already three (3) areas of relocation that the government has acquired for the urban poor, based on the PCUP’s website: Brgy.Muzon, in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan where evicted illegal settlers from Las Piñas, Quezon City, Maynila, and Navotas will setteled; Sitio Tanza, Bgy. San Jose, Antipolo City for illegal settlers from Marikina, Taguig, Muntinlupa, San Juan, Pasig and Parañaque; and Franvile I, Bgy.Camarin, Caloocan City, for those who will be evicted from their homes in  Pagkakaisa ng Maralita HOA at ERLAN HOA (MWSS). (Another version is published in CBCPNews.com)