Hontiveros: Govât should also âbuild, build, buildâ for informal settlers
“Dapat may ‘build, build, build’ program din ang gobyerno ng mga makataong relocation sites para sa ating mga informal settlers.”
The Freeman/Aldo Nelbert Banaynal

Hontiveros: Gov’t should also ‘build, build, build’ for informal settlers

(Philstar.com) - July 9, 2019 - 6:04pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Risa Hontiveros pushed for the building of “humane” relocation sites for informal settlers, in a Senate press release on Wednesday.

Amidst the “Build, Build, Build” program that targets the acceleration of infrastructure development, she called on the government to prioritize Filipinos displaced by the project.

“As developments expand at a bullish pace and infrastructure becomes a main priority, informal settlers face the real problem of displacement,” she said.

“Dapat may ‘build, build, build’ program din ang gobyerno ng mga makataong relocation sites para sa ating mga informal settlers.”

(The government should also have a "build, build, build" program of humane relocation sites for our informal settlers.)

The senator has filed Senate Bill 167 or the “On-Site, In-City and Near-City Resettlement Program” in the 18th Congress. The bill seeks to provide housing based on proposals submitted by the affected informal settler families.

Demolition without relocation

At the start of his term, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte promised the public there would be no demolition without relocation, saying Filipinos should not be made homeless and treated “like dogs.”

However, the recent demolition in Bayview, Parañaque last June 24 showed otherwise.

Youth group Anakbayan spokesperson Alex Danday said the demolition was illegal, citing the lack of relocation plans, demolition order, mandatory pre-demolition conference and any demolition notice.

Sixty families were met with 300 demolition team members, 50 PNP personnel and 20 heavily armed SWAT to facilitate the demolition.

The residents recounted how the police broke into their houses without warning and dumped their belongings on the streets.

Far from home

Previous relocation efforts from the government have brought Filipino families away from their original settlements. Some 270 families from along the Estero de Magdalena in Binondo were also ordered to be transferred to Trece Martires, Cavite just last June 20, said the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.

Hontiveros said there are currently as many as 2.5 million informal settler families citing data from the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

“For so long as we do not legislate and refine the resettlement process, we are enabling the displacement of thousands of people who deserve to call the Philippines home as much as any other Filipino does,” the senator said.

“Let us not allow progress to serve only the few.”

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