Government blinks, defers eviction of relocation sites invaders

THE government has deferred its plan to evict nearly 6,000 families that invaded and occupied houses meant for soldiers and policemen in government relocation sites in Pandi, Bulacan, starting March 8.

The National Housing Authority (NHA), which had taken out newspaper advertisements to announce that it was against chaos and the illegal occupation of the houses, ultimately agreed not to use force to make the invaders leave.

In a meeting with the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and the seven-member Makabayan Bloc at the House of Representatives, NHA officials agreed to freeze its eviction notice and, instead, look for ways to accommodate the 6,000 families.

As this developed, hundreds of members of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) on Tuesday mounted a “Mercy Mission Caravan to Urban Poor of #OccupyPabahay” in Pandi, Bulacan.

PCPR organizers said the caravan will deliver food and provisions to the urban-poor families in the relocation sites.

Kadamay maintained that, while there is no more eviction, the urban-poor group is still committed to fighting for free and mass housing.

With regard to the housing sites for military and police personnel and illegal settlers, the NHA said it would seriously look into the reasons for the low occupancy rate of the finished sites.

The NHA also agreed to hold consultations with uniformed personnel, as well as inventory the other resettlement sites, to find out why families did not relocate while others did.

“Kung hindi dahil sa pag-occupy ng mga maralita, hindi mabubuksan ang usapin ng matinding krisis sa pabahay. Hindi rin mapipilitan ang gobyerno na harapin ang sarili niyang mga kakulangan,” Kadamay National Chairman Gloria Arellano said.



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