In the Miserable Depths of Poverty

Homes and livelihood in danger

Demolitions of homes and areas of livelihood of the urban poor were also rampant throughout 2008.

Kadamay and other local urban poor groups hold the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) responsible for these. With operations deemed as “illegal demolitions”, often involving violence, congressmen have been compelled to question the MMDA’s authority to conduct demolitions. Several congressmen have supported House Resolution No. 487, seeking an inquiry on the legality of demolitions conducted by the MMDA.

HR 708, meanwhile, seeks an investigation on the human rights violations allegedly committed by the MMDA during their operations.

In the past few years, clashes between sidewalk vendors and the MMDA in different areas in Metro Manila have become rather common. In the first half of the year, demolitions at the Philcoa Wet and Dry Market, Culiat Bridge and Balintawak Market in Quezon City, Levi Mariano Avenue in Taguig City, and at the Quinta Market were carried out by the MMDA. The MMDA allegedly carried out these operations without notices of demolition. More demolitions of the urban poor’s areas of livelihood happened throughout the second half of the year.

The urban poor’s homes also face actual demolitions or threats of demolitions throughout the country.

In Cagayan de Oro City, at least 15,000 families will be affected when the plan to turn the Cagayan de Oro River into a tourist attraction is implemented. In Kawit, Cavite, 50 houses of urban poor families were demolished while those in the coastlines of Bacoor, Noveleta and Cavite cities face threats of demolition because of the planned extension of the R-1 Expressway. In Davao City, the city government plans to demolish several structures including homes of the urban poor.

In Metro Manila, there are reported cases of demolition of urban poor homes along the Pasig River and in Project 4 in Quezon City. Threats of demolition in Sitio San Roque, San Isidro, Brgy. Central at Pinyahan District in Quezon City also abound as the implementation of the plan for a Quezon City Central Business District (QC-CBD) progresses. The expansion of University of the Philippines (UP)-Ayala Corporation Techno Hub also threatens the homes in surrounding barangays such as the Old Capitol Site and San Vicente.

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