Basic need is in peril

ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago - Visaya - The Freeman

For the past few days, a small group of homeowners has been caught off guard, in disarray, and in uncertainty as a result of their presence in their normally tranquil neighborhood. They couldn't have imagined being visited by a group one day and being told that their days are being counted since their area is affected by a massive line transmission project, and so the construction of a tower could be expected to be on the working schedule. This is without the developer's prior information.

We were swept away when we discovered that such a project had been planned years before our arrival in the neighborhood. The homeowners took the initiative to meet with the developer and set up a meeting, which the developer agreed to attend, but the developer was nowhere to be found on the day of the meeting. As a result, we've noticed a reluctance to provide beneficial information and communicate with residents, as if giving no value to it, acting in bad faith.

Disgust, sadness, and despair are normal feelings from homeowners, as what we have invested with our hard-earned money would be severely jeopardized. It is not about how long or short we have lived in the community, but about the memories we have made with our families and fellow homeowners as witnesses of how we braved through the challenges during the pandemic period, when the community served as a refuge from the dangers of the Covid-19 virus due to the residents' concerted efforts to ensure the virus did not penetrate the community. We are not opposed to any sort of progress, particularly when it benefits the majority, but it becomes unethically detrimental and unfair to those few who are not made aware of the situation in the first place. And when the local officials in charge of putting the proposal into action have a hazy and limited understanding of previous deals. Take, for example, any paper announcing a go-signal would guarantee that no one would be adversely affected from the start.

The community is obviously not secluded, as it is located among other formal and informal settlements, a school, and a variety of large and small private business organizations. As a result, it's critical that individuals are made aware of any potential negative consequences, whether slight or major, and what actions are in place. And the entire procedure is conducted with an expert and objective viewpoint that is free of self-interest.

We clearly do not want to reach a position when communicating with government authorities about the expropriation and demolition of our homes creates an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty, to the point where they will threaten us if we oppose their acts or refuse to accept any further offers.

Particularly now that people are aware of the potential for environmental damage, an adequate information and consultation campaign must be launched and adequately delivered to the impacted community.

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