Thursday, July 30, 2009

Urban Poor Group Seek Help of Catholic Bishops




** NEWS RELEASE *** NEWS RELEASE *** NEWS RELEASE **

Urban Poor Group Seek Help of Catholic Bishops

30 July 2009. Various urban poor groups in Metro Manila have asked the help of Catholic Bishops to arrange a meeting with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to discuss the Executive Order 803 creating and directing the Metro Manila Inter-Agency Committee (MMIAC) to plan, coordinate and implement a comprehensive shelter program for informal settlers.

In a letter to President Arroyo, through Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan of Tuguegarao and Bishop Ramon Villena of Bayombong, the Task Force Anti-Eviction told the president that her advisors have given her bad advice in the matter of MMIAC, especially in making Bayani Fernando and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) the chair of that body.

“For years Bayani Fernando has been perceived as the number one oppressor of the poor. He has evicted thousands of the poorest families (those living under bridges and along esteros, for example), and left them without relocation, literally homeless in the streets, against our own and international law. He has destroyed the goods of poor vendors. Now he is promoted to head the MMIAC which puts him in charge of all aspects of social housing, including evictions, relocation, upgrading and construction. His control over the poor is greatly increased. Poor people say they are deeply offended by this promotion given their oppressor,” the letter read.

“Remove him, Mrs. President. There are many other more capable and humane men and women who can head the MMIAC. Bishops, the Commission on Human Rights, dozens of NGOs, civil society groups and thousands of urban poor people had asked that you not appoint him,” urban poor leaders said.

“The act of promoting Bayani Fernando will greatly increase his control over the poor. We request the president to remove him as the chair of MMIAC. Instead replace him with capable and humane men or women who can head the MMIAC,” said Ted Añana, Deputy Coordinator of the Urban Poor Associates (UPA).

If this is not possible for any number of reasons, people’s organizations and NGOs such as Community Organizers Multiversity (COM), Community Organization of the Philippine Enterprise (COPE) Foundation, and UPA, want Chairman Fernando to pledge in public way that he is committed to provide relocation for all evicted families and to seek genuine consultation with the poor.

“We ask that you advise Chairman Fernando to seek genuine consultation with the poor and NGOs, allow people’s participation, and learn from the best experiences of other countries. We ask that this consultation begin with the makeup of the MMIAC. The poor wish there be representatives of the poor and the NGOs,” the letter added.

Urban poor leaders also reminded the president that during their meeting August 1 last year, she gave directives to government agencies so that the 1,400 families from the 11 priority areas evicted by MMDA and now living in the streets be relocated to Montalban at the cost of P300 million.

-30-




TASK FORCE ANTI-EVICTION
c/o URBAN POOR ASSOCIATES
25A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Quezon City
Tels (632) 426 4119/ 7615 Telefax (632) 426 4118
Email: upa@pldtdsl.net



July 10, 2009


H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President, Republic of the Philippines
Office of the President
Malacañang Palace
Manila

Through the kindness of:
Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan and Bishop Ramon Villena


Dear Mrs. President,

Warm greetings from all the urban poor.

We must tell you in all respect that your urban advisors have given you bad advice in the matter of the Metro Manila Inter-Agency Committee, especially in making Bayani Fernando and the Metro Manila Development Authority the chair of that body (E.O. 803).

For years he has been perceived as the number one oppressor of the poor. He has evicted thousands of the poorest families (those living under bridges and along esteros, for example), and left them without relocation, literally homeless in the streets, against our own and international law. He has destroyed the goods of poor vendors. Now he is promoted to head the MMIAC which puts him in charge of all aspects of social housing, including evictions, relocation, upgrading and construction. His control over the poor is greatly increased. Poor people say they are deeply offended by this promotion given their oppressor.

Remove him, Mrs. President. There are many other more capable and humane men and women who can head the MMIAC. Bishops, the Commission on Human Rights, dozens of NGOs, civil society groups and thousands of urban poor people had asked that you not appoint him.

If it is not possible to do this for any number of reasons, we ask that you require Chairman Fernando, to pledge in a public way that he is committed to providing relocation for all evicted families. The law binding in these matters is well expressed in the Resolution of the CHR recommending a moratorium on evictions and demolitions (CHR (IV) No. A2008-052).

We ask that you order the creation of “The Independent Body, legally responsible for preventing illegal forced evictions” that was recommended to the Philippine Government by the United Nations Human Rights Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1995. This new body can be located in the CHR.

All other attempts to prevent illegal forced evictions have failed.

We ask that you advise Chairman Fernando to seek genuine consultation with the poor and NGOs, allow people’s participation, and learn from the best experiences of other countries. We ask that this consultation begin with the makeup of the MMIAC. The poor wish there be representatives of the poor and the NGOs.

Can you take action so that the 1,400 families from the 11 priority areas evicted and now living in the streets be relocated to Montalban at the cost of P300 million? You ordered that this be done last year.

We make these requests because the future of our children depends on your decision.

We ask that you please meet with our group to discuss these matters which are very important for us as soon as possible.

We thank you for all the time you have given us. You have had more meetings with the poor than any other president.


Very sincerely,



ROSALINDA TAGHOY
Bacood Ilaya Looban Homeowners Association


ROSALINDA SATURNO
Samahang Nayon ng Balintawak, Inc.


PRESCILDA P. JUANICH
SAPIPA-R10, Navotas


ROLANDO L. SERNA
Market-3 Fishport of Navotas Neighborhood Association


YOLANDA R. OFAGA
Samahang ng mga Residente ng R-10, Navotas


IDA J. CABAZARES
United Group for Progress


JOSE MORALES
Ugnayang Lakas ng Apektadong Pamilya sa Baybaying Ilog-Pasig (ULAP


FRED DAMIAN
Samahang Magkakapitbahay ng Estero dela Reina (SMER)


JOANNE B.
Pasay Estero Informal Settlers Alliance

No comments:

Post a Comment

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner