March 7, 2011
Old tenants living in Poblacion 1 in the town of GMA, Cavite protested the planned demolition of their homes during the weekly flag ceremony at the municipal hall. They are asking GMA Mayor Leonisa Joana "Ona" Virata for a dialogue concerning their demands.
Some 80 families who are members of the Poblacion Neighborhood Family Association (Pobnefa) are claiming their right to security of housing since they have been living in the area since the 1990’s. Pobnefa together with Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP) and the Samahang Nagkakaisa ng Cavite (Sanagca) are also asserting the moratorium on demolitions ordered by the DILG in view of ongoing consultations on a solution to the housing problem.
“While the old tenants do not have a piece of paper that serves as title to the land, they have been living in the area for almost two decades now. The land is owned by the National Housing Authority and the agency has allowed the municipal government to utilize the land. Since this is public land, we are asking Mayor Virata to dialogue with the residents and heed their demands,” explained Ramil Cangayao, PM-Cavite chairperson.
He added that “We hope that Mayor Virata will not forcibly demolish the home of the old tenants. In the first place, there is a de facto moratorium on demolitions as per instructions of the Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.”
Cangayao was referring to the cabinet level task force headed by Robredo with the mandate to formulate and recommend policy resolutions on the housing issues confronting the urban poor. During the pendency of the consultations with the urban poor on the policy recommendations, a moratorium will take effect. It was on this basis that the demolition in San Juan, Metro Manila ordered by the city government was stopped a month ago by Robredo himself.
PM, AMP and Sanagca also announced that on March 15 some 500 urban poor residents in Dasmarinas, Cavite will march for the same demand of right to security of housing. The marchers will be composed of residents who are pushing for awarding by the NHA of land titles to long-time residents and also low-cost housing homeowners who face foreclosures.
PM has been campaigning for a moratorium on demolitions and foreclosures in the context of the economic crisis besetting the workers and the poor.