Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Railway dwellers to get dream homes in Taguig


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For Immediate Release on July 18, 2006

Railway dwellers to get dream homes in Taguig

Thousands of railway dweller families in Taguig City will finally get a chance to own their dream homes as in-city relocation was supported by Taguig City Mayor Sigfrido R. Tiñga for the families who will be displaced due to the Northrail-Southrail Linkage Project.

“Ito ay malaking tuwa at malaking kasayahan sa lahat. Masaya kami dahil natupad ang aming kahilingan na dito ma-relocate sa Taguig. Tatlo yung anak ko, sa Maynila pa sila nag-aaral kaya ayaw ko sa malayong lugar,” said 40-year old Jonalyn Peraen.

Mayor Tiñga announced at the meeting yesterday with the representatives of Koalisyon ng mga Samahan sa Riles Katimugan (KOSARIKA) and Urban Poor Associates (UPA) that a low-cost cluster housing project for railway families had been set for Bagong Tanyag. “We are trying to do our best to give you something na kapag andun na kayo, rerespetuhin kayo, maganda ang tingin sainyo,” Mayor Tiñga said.

Mayor Tiñga also accompanied the railway leaders to a model house located in Diego Silang. “Yung atin lamang mahihirap na kababayan ay bigyan naman natin ng dignidad sa kanilang tirahan. Kaya pinapaliwanag namin, hindi kami anti-poor o anti squatter, ayaw namin ng ganuong kalagayan at kung mabibigyan natin ng pagkakataong pagandahin ang buhay nila e ibigay natin. Kailangan lang talaga magtulungan yung mga tao at pamahalaan. We can make it happen,” Mayor Tiñga said.

The proposal includes the construction of a two- or three-story buildings, to be comprised of 400 units, for the relocation of “qualified” informal settlers. “Sa August 11 ang launching ng housing project. Before the end of the year kailangan naitayo na namin ang pabahay or naumpisahan na,” Mayor Tiñga added.

“There are 4454 railway families in Taguig and most of them are living below the poverty line,” according to UPA, a non-government organization working with the urban poor issues.

Aside from the city of Muntinlupa, railway dwellers from Caloocan City to Laguna are being told by the National Housing Authority to relocate in Cabuyao or else they will be relocated in Calauan also in Laguna.

KOSARIKA brought the letter of Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales on a protest rally at the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) last May 15. In his letter, Cardinal Rosales urged the HUDCC led by Vice President Noli de Castro to relocate affected families in-city or near-city.

“Distant relocation is the prime cause of much of these problems. If people were relocated near their work and schools, for example, family income would not suffer so much. NGOs and people’s groups with whom we work have found close to 200 hectares of idle land in the Taguig and Bicutan area, a portion of which can be used as relocation sites,” the Cardinal’s letter read.

Meanwhile Bishops in Metro Manila are planning to visit the relocation sites and will soon meet President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to raise the railroad tracks issues. -30-

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