PANDI, BulacanSome 600 militants belonging to five partylist groups swooped down in one of the rows of occupied housing units of the National Housing Authority (NHA) at the NHA Village Heights 2 in Barangay Mapulang Lupa here where they staged a rally in a show of support to the cause of the urban poor on Saturday morning.
The militant groups composed of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Akbayan, Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anak Pawis and Kabataan Partylist took turns in assailing the government housing programs and vowed to support members of the leftist group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), who occupied since March 8 at least 6,000 idle housing units in different resettlement areas in this town.
Sarah Elago of the Kabataan partylist said that their group, together with the four others partylist organizations belonging to the Makabayan Block, had already filed a resolution in Congress aiming to investigate the idle housing projects of the government.
The poor has the right to proper shelter and public funds intended for the poor should go to the poor, she said.
She said, however, that their resolution would have to wait because Congress was now on break.
Elago said that it was high time to probe the incidents so that it would not have spill-over effects in other provinces where NHA housing units were located.
She added that NHA should speed up the processing of papers for the poor since many of them had no means to follow up the requirements.
She said that President Rodrigo Duterte himself did not want people lining up to follow up something in every government offices.
Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT Partylist said that the police and military should not be allowed in the community and also diverted his speech in the offensive of the government against communist insurgents.
When asked what would they do if the NHA served the notice of eviction this coming Monday, Carlito Badioc, Secretary General of Kadamay, said that their group would not leave the occupied housing units and continue to fight for the right of the poor to have their own dwelling place.
He said that Kadamay was willing to provide the masterlist of the group who took over the NHA housing units but NHA officials did not let it happen that way.
What they want is for us to leave first the occupied housing units before they process it. And also, we want them to acknowledge our wishes --to pull out the police in the area, remove food blockade and provide electricity, water and other needs of the housing sites," Badioc said.
The NHA on the other hand, explained that the units that the KADAMAY has occupied has already been awarded to the PNP housing boards while the other units are already awarded to informal settlers whose houses have been demolished and to families who where removed from geological hazard zones.
The NHA also issued statements that they are following instructions of the President who ordered them to provide adequate living conditions for the people by providing them with water and electric supply.
Source: Philippines News Agency