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Saturday, December 13, 2014



On December 19, please join us as we look back at yet another significant year of survival, resistance and struggle of the Filipino urban poor as Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) will hold a year-end gathering of its friends and supporters at the United Churches of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Chapel at EDSA.

Learn about the efforts of supporters of the urban poor and on how to participate in advancing the campaign and struggles of the sector. Also, witness original performances by cultural groups Siklab and Sining Kadamay.

Registration will start at 3pm as well as the screening of rare videoclips about the plight and struggles of the urban poor in the year 2014.

Barikada ng mga residente ng Ilocandia St., Litex, Commonwealth Avenue sa Quezon City kontra sa bantang demolisyon, matagumpay

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Grupo ng maralita, hindi ikinagalak ang balitang lumiit ang tantos ng walang trabaho sa bansa

Walang dapat ikatuwa ang mamamayan sa bagong anunsyo ng National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) na lumiit ang bilang ng walang trabaho sa bansa ayon sa grupong Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap o Kadamay. Ayon naman sa NEDA, lumiit patungong 6% ang unemployment rate sa bansa (hindi kasama ang probinsya ng Leyte) base sa isinagawang Labor Force Survey para sa buwan ng Oktubre 2014, mula 6.4% noong nakaraang dalawang taon.

Dagdag pa ng Kadamay, isang 'magic' ang bagong labas na serbey ng NEDA sapagkat matagal na umanong minamanipula ng gubyerno ang tantos ng kawalang-trabaho sa bansa. Ang tunay na bilang ng walang trabaho sa bansa sa tantya ng Kadamay ay aabot sa 12-13 milyong Pilipino at ito umano ang nasa likod ng makasaysayang tantos ng kahirapan at kagutuman ng mga Pilipino.

Ani Gloria Arellano, tagapangulo ng Kadamay, anumang karagdagang trabaho na nalilikha ng gubyerno ay panandalian lamang, sapagkat pinapanatili mismo nito alinsunod sa mga neoliberal na patakaran sa ekonomiya ang malawak na kawalang-trabaho sa bansa.

"Ang pagmantini sa malawak na kawalang-trabaho sa bansa ay pamamaraan para mapanatili ang maliit na pasahod sa mga manggagawang Pilipino, at para mag-agawan sila sa iilang kontraktwal na trabaho," dagdag ni Arellano.

Ang kunwaring pagbaba ng unemployment rate sa bansa ay magsisilbi lamang sa popularidad ni Pangulong Aquino na patuloy na dumadausdos dahil sa tumitinding kahirapan at korapsyon sa ilalim ng kanyang administrasyon," ani Arellano.

Pagwawakas ng lider, sa halip na magsinungaling, dapat umanong ipatupad ng gubyerno ang kadama-buwang P16,000 national minimum wage para sa lahat ng manggagawa sa pribado at pampublikong sektor at dapat kumawala na ang gubyerno sa mga neoliberal na patakarang nagpapanatili sa basot na lokal na ekonomiya at ng malawak na kawalang-trabaho sa bansa. ###

Friday, December 5, 2014

Grupong Kadamay, kinondena ng pagwasak sa tindahan ng mga maralita sa Tacloban City sa gitna ng paghahanda para sa Bagyong Ruby





Nanawagan ang grupong Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihihrap o Kadamay sa mga maralitang lungsod at taga-suporta ng mga survivor ng Bagyong Yolanda na kondenahin ang ginawang pagwasak sa mga istruktura ng mga maralita na saklaw ng No Build Zone sa Tacloban City sa Leyte.

Ayon kay Carlito Badion, nakakagalit umano ang ginawa ng Tacloban City LGU na ginamit pa ang pagdating ng Bagyong Ruby para itaboy ang mga maralitang manininda sa public market ng syudad.

Ayon sa City Inspection and Enforcement Division ng City Engineer's Office, kailangang wasakin ang mga istruktura ng mga maralitang manininda para maiwasan ang pagkakaroon ng mga kalat sa kalsada ng Tacloban City sa posibilidad ng panibagong storm surge na tatama sa syudad.

Mahigit isang taon matapos ang pananalasa ng Bagyong Yolanda, sa halip na tulungang makabangon ang mga maralitang biktima ng kalamidad, pagwasak pa sa kabuhayan ng mga maralita ang tanging ginagawa ng gubyernong Aquino, ayon kay Badion.

Ang pagbalik sa mga No Build Zone ay manipestasyon lang ng kapalpakan ng gubyerno na maglikha ng trabaho at kabuhayann para sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo sa kabila ng bilyung-bilyong pisong aid na natanggap ng gubyerno para sa mga biktima.

Dagdag pa ng lider, wala umanong pagpipilian ang mga maralita kundi ang labanan at biguin ang patakarang No Build Zone na ipinapatupad ng gubyerno para lamang bigyang-daan ang pagpasok ng malalaking negosyante sa mga lugar na dating inookupa ng mga komunidad ng maralitang lungsod.

"Walang ibang dapat gawin ang mga maralita ng Tacloban at ng iba pang sentrong bayan sa bansa kundi ang patalsikin ang rehimeng US-Aquino at ang pabagsakin ang bulok na sistemang nagsasadlak sa mga maralita sa ibayong kahirapan sa ngalan ng pangkaunlarang programang pumapabor lamang sa interes ng dayuhan at iilan," pagwawakas ni Badion.

Please refer to release of Kadamay Tacloban and related photos at https://www.facebook.com/kadamay.tacloban?fref=ts.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Grupong Kadamay, kinoondena ang demolisyon at pagwasak sa kabyuhan ng maralita sa Malabon



Kinondena ng grupong Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) ang nagaganap na demolisyon ng aabot sa 30 kabayahan sa Ulingan, Brgy. Catmon, Malabon City.

Ayon sa ulat ng samahan ng Kadamay sa komunidad, nagawang gibain ng mga bayarang demolition team at katuwang ang lokal na kapulisan at gamit ang isang bulldozer ang kabahayan ng ilang pamilya sa kanilang lugar. Kahit umano pasado alas-3 na ng hapon, nagpapatuloy pa rin ang pagdating ng reinforcement team ng kapulisan.

Higit na kinondena ng Kadamay ang pagkawasak sa kabuhayan ng mga pamilya na nabubuhay sa pag-uuling at pangangalakal.

"Wala ng ngang disenteng trabahong binibigay ang gubyernong Aquino sa mga maralita, katuwang pa ito ng mga negosyante sa pagwasak sa tahanan at kabuhayan ng mga maralitang lungsod. Ano nga bang pagpipilian ng mga maralita, kundi ang lumaban at hangarin maibagsak ang ganitong klase ng sistema?" ani Gloria Arellano, Kadamay national chairperson.

Ayon pa sa mga residente, bahagi ang ginagawang pagpapalayas sa mga maralita ang expansion ng proyekto ng kompanyang Himlayan Realty Corporation sa kabahaan ng Governor Pascual Avenue.

Iligal umano ang isinagawang demolisyon ng PNP at ng mga tauhan ng HRC. Labag umano sa Urban development and Housing Act (UDHA) ang pagsasagawa ng demolisyon tuwing Sabado at Linggo. Gayundin, ang paggamit ng heavy equipment na ipinagbabawal ng UDHA.

Hiling nilang masibak sa pwesto si Police Inspecto Flores na syang tumayong commander ng kapulisang sumama sa demolition team, at makulong ang iba pang nasa likod ng iligal na demolisyon.

Nong Setyembre, isang pastor ang nakulong matapos niyang ipag-utos ang paggiba ng mga kabahayan sa Malate, Manila sa kasagsaganan ng pananalasa ng Bagyong Mario. Ipinagbabawal din ng UDHA ang pagpapatupad ng demolisyon kapag masama ang panahon.

Isang Police General Edgardo Aglipay naman ang sinasabing may-ari ng kompanyang MRC ang nagpahatid ng anunsyo sa higit sa 500 pamilyang nakatira sa ilang ektaryang lupain sa gilid ng lumang tambakan ng basura sa Brgy Catmon na binili umano ng kanyang kompanya sa lokal na pamahalaan.

Naniniwala rin ang mga residente na kasabwat sa ipinapatupad na demolisyon ang lokal na pamahalaan ng Malabon City.


Groups call to end massive demolition of homes of urban poor


Urban poor groups marched last Monday to the national office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) at EDSA to protest the unabated cases of demolition of homes in urban poor communities, including those in areas devastated by by Super Typhoon Yolanda in Visayan Islands as the national government implements it No Build Zone Policy. Most of the protesters are members of Quezon City-based urban poor groups, led by September 23 Movement from North Triangle and Kilos Bayan Para sa Kalusugan from Barangay North Farview.

Alyansa Kontra Demolisyon, a network of urban poor groups against forcible eviction, also slammed the brutalities and human right violations committed by elements of the Philippine National Police during demolition of homes happening all under the nose of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

Estrelieta Bagasbas, spokesperson of the network, said the urban poor are long fed up of the Aquino government who has acted against the sector in favor of big businesses. "For more than three years in office, we have only witnessed our urban poor brothers being pulled out of our communities by brute force and transferred to far-flung relocation sites where livelihood and employment opportunities are inaccessible," said Bagasbas.


Meanwhile, urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) called on the Aquino government to immediately address the growing problem of unemployment and landlessness which is primarily behind the housing problem in the country.

From less than 5,000 urban poor families in October 2011, the number of demolition victims has soared to nearly 90,000 families nationwide under the Aquino administration according to AKD. The figure includes those with constant threat of eviction due to different development projects under the Public-Private Partnership program (PPP). The figure does not include those families residing along waterways and other danger areas in Metro Manila--around 104,219 families.


Meanwhile, around 10.8M people are affected by a post-Yolanda policy that prohbits the construction within dwellings along the coastal areas in Visayan islands that were affected by the Super Typhoon.

International humanitarian agencies and municipal mayors in typhoon-hit areas on Panay Island have questioned the government’s “no-dwelling zone” (NDZ) policy amid fears that nearly 70,000 families will be dislocated. According to Kadamay Panay-Guimaras, some 350,000 people (69,300 families) will be affected by the implementation of the NDZ in the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo alone. They include 36,300 families in Iloilo, 16,000 in Aklan, 12,000 in Capiz and 5,000 in Antique, according to estimates of government agencies.

The policy will also be carried out in Laguna Lake and Manila Bay to justify the construction of a new international airport and other big-time PPP projects in the 90,000-hectare Laguna Lake and provide premium to large-scale and widespread reclamation projects in Manila Bay, fishermen's group Pamalakaya said.

In Laguna Lake, the no-build zone policy will dislocate around 3.9 million people, while in Manila Bay, about 6 million people will be evicted to pave way for big land reclamation projects of the Public Reclamation Authority (PRA), the fishermen’s group said.

Meanwhile, Yolanda survivors in Tacloban City and other municipalities at the coastal areas of Samar and Leyte are facing dual burden of recovery from disaster and eviction from No Build Zones, as part of the Build Back Better program of the Aquino administration.

Human right violations

The Philippine National Police, and other authorities under the DILG have earned a notoriety among urban poor who resist demolition of their communities. The violations range from the use of tear gas to quell the resistance of barricading residents, to arson, and to use of force and torture against those arrested during demolition of their homes.

The Philippine Military also aided the demolition of settlers in some cases of demolition. While hired para-military and security guards man communities that are bound for demolition, including the urban poor community of Sitio San Roque in North Triangle, Quezon City.

On January 27, at least 200 families in Sitio San Roque lost their homes in a violent demolition. The urban poor community was demolished supposedly to give way to th 11.3 meter road widening project of Agham Road in line with the building of the Central Business District of Quezon City. Around a thousand combined police, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams, and demolition men participated in said demolition.

Despite negotiations, PSupt. Pedro Sanchez and members of the Task Force for the Control, Prevention and Removal of Illegal Structures and Squatting (COPPRISS) dispersed the protesters and dismantled the barricade. Several residents were hit by the police arnis sticks and were forced to defend themselves. Police threw tear gas canisters at the protesters and into people’s homes.

With residents fleeing from tear gas, the demolition teams moved in and began dismantling the houses. Even shanties outside of the road-widening project were demolished.

Resty Torres, 65, died during an asthma attack after inhaling tear gas. A pregnant woman, Mary Rose Reyes, had a miscarriage after crawling her way out of the area filled with tear gas. Reyes was four-months pregnant with twins. Police and SWAT members arrested 11 individuals, including two minors, for supposedly throwing rocks at the demolition team and the police.

Urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) has recorded at least 14 cases of killings committed by the authorities as they implement the demolition of homes, only under the Aquino administration.

Moratorium on demolition

“To end the spate of violence, the national government must immediately implement a nationwide moratorium on demolition,” said Bagasbas.

Alyansa Kontra Demolisyon said that under the Aquino administration, Malacanang and the DILG have already issued a temporary moratorium on demolition in urban poor communities in the past. First, in September 2010 in the aftermath of demoliton in North Triangle; second, in April 2012 after the violence during the demolition of Silverio Compound in Paranaque City, and third, at the peak of protests against demolition of homes along waterways in Metro Manila, after Undersecretary Bimbo Fernandez signed a pact with some urban poor leaders after a dialogue at the DILG in 2013.

Urban poor leaders have also reiterated a signed covenant with the urban poor by then presidential and vice presidential candidates Aquino and Roxas, which has its number entry: There will be no eviction without decent relocation for the victims.

Housing budget

AKD has also questioned the use of the Informal Settler Fund, the P10B fund released every year since 2011 for in-city housing programs for urban poor residing along major waterways in Metro Manila, and other housing budget including the P1.24 billion housing fund for 2015 under the DILG. The opposition has been vocal about the inclusion of housing fund in DILG's annual budget since 2014, and its possible use for the electoral campaign of Roxas who has announced its plan to run for president in 2016.

Some groups meanwhile alleged possible corruption with the contracts entered by the government with the low-cost housing firms who have constructed off-city relocation sites outside Metro Manila.

Kadamay said that despite the recommendation of a technical working group under the DILG during the reign of then Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, which discourages off-city relocation for urban poor settlers, the Aquino administration has been moving thousands and thousands of urban poor families to off-city relocation sites away from their sources of jobs and means of livelihood in urban centers.

The study notes the following ‘gaps' and issues in resettlement areas: a) shortage or absence of accessible employment opportunities which poses problems in the payment of amortization; b) non-reliable/inadequate supplies of potable water and electricity; c) distance from school and health facilities; and d) defects on housing structures.

Furthermore, the TWG notes that the 'hardship conditions' faced by families in relocation sites and the distance to sources of livelihood and employment have led many relocatees to migrate back into the cities. Meanwhile, these have also given birth to different forms of struggles ensued by several groups of relocatees aimed for the betterment of the dire situation in the government's resettlement projects.

Off-city relocation
Through mandatory relocation after fire and alleged cases of arson, and forcible demolition of homes, the government has transferred at least 45,246 families to off-city relocation sites since 2009 based on data from the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

In the housing sector, the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 seeks to create “an investment-friendly environment [through] PPPs,” “develop a financing framework for relocation and resettlement, including workable PPP schemes for socialized housing development,” and “[develop] PPPs for onsite upgrading and resettlement”. Optimistically the plan expects PPPs “to help achieve sustainable communities, urban competitiveness [and] housing affordability.”

While there are a few 'showcase' in-city resettlement sites (tenement, medium rise building, etc.), relocation of 'informal settlers' to off-city relocation sites has been a policy of the government. Meanwhile, the privatization in the housing sector has forward a profit-driven rather service-oriented housing for the urban poor.

As of September 2014, there are 32 off-city resettlement sites directly administered by the National Housing Authority (NHA) where urban poor settlers from Metro Manila are relocated. These are found in the neighboring provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan, and has become a stigma for settlers who refused to be relocated to these sites. Meanwhile, other resettlement projects in different regions in the country, including those built to house victims of disasters such as Typhoon Sendong, Pablo and Yolanda as well as the Zamboanga siege, have earned the same notoriety among the urban poor. Some of the ‘off-city relocation sites’ are even condemned by the urban poor as danger and death zones and post great threat to the lives of thousands of relocatees.

“Despite the ISF and billions of other housing funds annually released by the national government, the dire situation of relocatees and the lack of basic social services in resettle projects across the country remain a big problem. Worse, many relocatees face new threats of eviction from their housing units in the resettlement projects for failing to pay the monthly amortization,” Bagasbas said. ###

Demolition of homes along Gov. Pascual Avenue in Malabon pushes through despite UDHA's prohibition on demolition during weekend




Some 30 families in Ulingan community, Brgy Catmon, Malabon are about to lose homes after a private company, Himlayan Realty Corporation, order the demolition of their structures along Governor Pascual Avenue this morning, November 22.

Residents cry that the demolition, which is assisted by the PNP, is illegal as it is stated under UDHA that there shall be no demolition during weekends. They also slam the use of intimidation last week by the company officials and the local police who forced residents to sign a waiver for voluntary demolition.



In September, a local pastor was jailed after ordering the demolition of homes in Manila City while Super Typhoon Mario ravaged Metro Manila, an act prohibited by UDHA.

Yesterday, residents of Ulingan community staged a protest action outside the project site of HRC along Gov. Pascual Ave.



Reference: Kevin Gomez, Kadamay Caloocan, 09476946306