Monday, May 5, 2014

Umbrella Walk for UDHA Amendment

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


TFUA umbrella walk calling for UDHA Amendments at Congress.

05 May 2014. Task Force UDHA Amendments composed of Urban Poor Associates (UPA), Community Organizers Multiversity (COM), Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies Inc (Philssa), Peoples Alternative Study Center for Research and Education in Social Development (Pascres) and various people’s organizations from different cities gathered today in front of congres, senate and other places to push further their call to amend UDHA.

Urban poor groups brought with them umbrella labeled “Amend UDHA Now! Promote Housing Rights!” The mobilization is a peaceful rally reminding the legislatures that the poor are closely monitoring all developments under housing and urban development.

Celia Santos, UPA UDHA Advocacy Officer said, “Umbrella is a symbol of shelter for most of us. It keeps us dry from rain and keeps us from too much heat. Our urban poor advocates wanted a constant reminder that they are bent in pushing UDHA amendments and they thought that there is no other best way but to use their umbrellas labeled with phrases of support UDHA amendments. This umbrella is their walking advertisement to the public to join them with their endeavor.”

The proposed amendments filed by COOP NATCCO party list Rep. Cresente Paez and Camarines Sur Rep. Leonor Robredo House Bill 2791  and Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, Senate Bill 1874 will ensure that the rights of the poor for decent housing will be given a priority.

This bills aims to further secure the urban poor from eviction and demolition of their homes and from relocating them in distant places lacking basic services and livelihood opportunities, thus clarifying the definition of “resettlement areas” that it must be within and/or near city areas.  

It also calls for proper technical study and public consultation before declaring areas as danger zone/high risk area.

This measure will mandate government to set-up a Socialized Housing Commission with quasi-judicial power and authority with all issues arising from the implementation of UDHA law.

Marlon Quirante, President Exodus Homeowners Association , “For the past nine years that we have been pushing for the amendments, this is by far the most number of supports we had from the law makers. The implementation of on-site and near-city resettlement was also given priority. We are also hopeful that our people’s plan for on-site housing in Taytay, Binondo and Caloocan will be granted. We believe that through our proposed UDHA amendments we will secure that poverty alleviation and risk mitigation can be achieved by implementing socialized housings that agreeable among the government and poor people affected. 

Santos concluded, “We urge committees to continue to hold hearings as it move forward having the law amended.”

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