Thursday, October 24, 2013

World Habitat – A Call for Decent Housing

 Urban Poor Associates
25-A Mabuhay Street, Brgy. Central, Q.C.          Telefax: 4264118          Tel.: 4264119 / 4267615
Ref:  Princess Asuncion      Mobile phone: 0908 1967450

About five hundred urban poor assembled today in Anda Circle, Bonifacio drive at 5PM to celebrate world habitat month. The group with their colorful placards calling for decent housing marched to the Ninoy and Cory Aquino monument in Padre Burgos Street, Roxas Boulevard.

The Task Force Anti-Eviction composed of various people’s organizations and NGOs such as the Urban Poor Associates (UPA) and Community Organizers Multiversity (COM) said the Ninoy and Cory monument is a reminder to everyone to help the poorest of the poor of our country through mass actions to support a call for decent and affordable housing in the city.

TFAE together with the people held a small program at the monument. Some of them rendered songs and dances. At 7PM, 500 people all together lit the candles that brighten the night. They read a statement that encourages everyone to participate in promoting adequate housing a priority.

The group also prayed that the government help in the rehabilitation of the communities and to provide mass housing to the thousands victims of disasters in Bohol and arm conflicts in Zamboanga.

Jeorgie Tenolete, president of Kabalikat in Baseco, Tondo, said, “Our community in Baseco has been long proclaimed but without the help of civil society it would not be able to survive threats of demolition. We are asking the government to implement the Baseco Development Plan to show its sincerity.”
“We also asked our authorities to ensure that our brother and sisters who suffered from calamity and war may not just get aid but safe and affordable housing, Tenolete added”

UPA data shows that there are 100,000 families living on waterways that are threatened of eviction.

Liza Condino, COM community organizer of fisher folk in Laguna Lake said, “the government plans of building a dike-road around the lake has a good intention to avoid flooding in the lake side, but it will cause the relocation of 45,000 families in far areas.”

Condino reiterated that they do not oppose the flood control project but it is important the government involve the people in planning the project and to explain to them that a massive moving of people will do tremendous harm to families. She wants to secure that the families can decide their own future.

TFAE also demanded that the President hasten the implementation of the covenant he signed with the urban poor on March 6, 2010 at Del Pan Sports Complex.

Ricardo Narcilla, president of United Chrislam along the waterway of Estero De San Miguel, urged the President to fast track the four on-site housing projects in Estero De San Miguel, Quiapo and San Sebastian.

Narcilla added, “Our neighbors, about 88 families, were already demolished. We fear that we will also be evicted if the housing project will not be started within the year. We know that our president hands are full, but we needed him for the implementation of the project.”

TFAE is also lobbying for the House Bill No. 2791 filed by 16 congressmen lead by COOP-NATTCO Representative Cresente Paez. It seeks to amend several sections of UDHA to strengthen the protected right of every Filipino to a decent home, and provide sanctions upon those who violate the mandate of the law.


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