Friday, May 12, 2006

DEMOLITIONS TROUBLE CARDINAL (Cardinal Rosales to VP de Castro: Stop Demolition)


Attention: News Editor, News Desk, Reporters and Photojournalists

(Cardinal Rosales to VP de Castro: Stop Demolition)

Hundreds of railway dwellers will rally at the office of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chair VP Noli de Castro at the Atrium Building, Makati Avenue in Makati City on May 15, Monday (9:00 AM) to demand a moratorium on all evictions on the railroad.

The people will bring a letter of Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales to VP de Castro suggesting the HUDCC Chair declare a moratorium on evictions until the relocation sites are prepared. They will discuss the problems if the vice president meets them during the rally. Otherwise they will post the letter on a wall.

The people and the Cardinal say the relocation sites are not prepared. They say the moratorium of demolition will give government time to give more care to children’s schooling and to family income in the relocation area, and to help house all people including those who missed cut-off dates. They will also demand HUDCC not threaten or scare people into relocating.

The Cardinal also advises VP de Castro to take another look at distant relocation, for example, in Taguig. This is the second time a bishop has called for a moratorium. Bishop Jose Oliveros of Malolos did the same in October 2005.

Some 50,000 families stand to be evicted from Caloocan City to Calamba. They are currently threatened with eviction due to the Southrail Project. Some 22,000 families (18,000 on the Northrail and 4,000 on the Southrail) have already been displaced.

The people have constructed their own train. They will show how it destroys people’s lives.

The Urban Poor Associates (UPA), a non-government organization working with the poor families, conducted research in North and South relocation sites. UPA found 70% of the relocatees have built their homes but only 50% of them occupy the homes they built at the North relocation sites. Seventy two percent of the respondents in the South relocation site said they experience lack of food, only 36% said they also experienced lack of food on the railway. This is a 100% increase from when they were on the railroad.

The water in the South relocation site is not fit to drink, according to the Biology department of Ateneo de Manila University.

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