Urban poor slams government’s relocation program

Published by rudy Date posted on May 18, 2011

URBAN poor protested the government’s program of relocating informal settlers or squatters to sites in the provinces.

“The urban poor built the cities and we are entitled to live in it,” Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino leader Ramil Cangayao claimed.

They staged a rally in front of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council main office in Makati City to protest the program.

They said about 500,000 squatters are set to be relocated to the provinces as proposed by the Department of Agrarian Reform.

Last month, 18 persons were injured when police and eviction crews from the Makati city government cleared the Laperal Compound in Guadalupe Viejo of remaining settlers after Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. declared the compound a danger zone.

The compound was hit by a big fire that razed about 900 shanties and left some 2,500 squatter families homeless.

The city government offered to relocate the squatter families to a site in Calauan, Laguna. Binay also earmarked P20 million as dole-outs for the families to move out.

An international human rights group recently declared that the city government violated several international accords on evictions of informal settlers.

The protesters urged President Benigno Aquino III to sign a draft executive order that provides for a moratorium on demolitions and evictions.

“The spate of violent demolitions in Metro Manila and other areas, such as the Laperal compound, reveal the need for a moratorium on evictions. During the pendency of the moratorium, government must hold an honest dialogue with the urban poor for strategic solution to the problem of housing for the poor,” Cangayao said in a statement. –Manila Standard Today

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