Sampaloc rail dwellers eye EO to stop demolition
() - August 8, 2007 - 12:00am

Some 1,000 families whose houses along Antipolo street in Sampaloc, Manila are set to be demolished to give way to the government’s railway project are pinning their hopes on Executive Order 48 to stop the demolition.

EO 48, signed by President Arroyo on Oct. 26, 2000 declares non-core properties of the Philippine National Railways as socialized housing sites and provides for their disposition to bonafide residents. It also sets a three-and-a-half-meter clearance for all structures on both sides of the outer rail tracks.

The families said their semi-concrete houses are built at least five meters away from the outer rail tracks. Their houses are set to be demolished to give way to the Northrail-Southrail Linkage Project (NSLP).

In a recent meeting with rail dwellers, Vice President Noli de Castro said Korea Eximbank, which funds the project, wants all structures within 15 meters from either side of the rail tracks to be demolished. He earlier promised to implement EO 48.

Jessie Engson, who leads the rail dwellers, said they are  questioning De Castro’s change of heart due to unconfirmed reports that Korean business establishments would occupy the cleared areas on both sides of the railway tracks.  – Nestor Etolle          

DE CASTRO EXECUTIVE ORDER JESSIE ENGSON KOREA EXIMBANK NESTOR ETOLLE NORTHRAIL-SOUTHRAIL LINKAGE PROJECT PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS PRESIDENT ARROYO
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