LEGAZPI CITY, 25March2017 (BicolToday.com) – Child rights group denounced the eviction order issued by the National Housing Authority (NHA) against the thousand poor families who have successfully occupied idle housing units in Pandi, Bulacan.
This was after President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement which labeled the occupation of Pandi housing as ‘anarchy’ and threatened of possible eviction.
Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns, an umbrella of 24 children’s organizations expressed support for the occupants.
“Poor and homeless families are left with no option but to collectively claim their basic right to housing because they have long been neglected by the state, with most of them having endured countless demolitions in the name of development which resulted to economic displacement from urban centers,” said Eule Rico Bonganay, Salinlahi officer in charge, welcoming the move of urban poor organization Kadamay as it exposed the failure of the government to provide impoverished Filipino families with decent public mass housing.
“Instead of addressing the housing problem, threats of eviction would only make matters worse. Child rights and human rights groups are also strictly monitoring any attempts to brutally and violently evict the families,’ added Bonganay.
Right to adequate shelter is an essential right of children and their families to survival according to Bonganay.
As one of the signatory state to the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Philippine government should be responsible in implementing programs and policies that provide basic rights of Filipino children including the provision of decent public mass housing.
“President Duterte and the NHA should not blame the occupants nor evict them. Instead, Duterte should realize that his obligation as president is not limited to resolving criminality and the drug menace in the country but he has a greater responsibility in addressing poverty and in ending the policy of privatization of government services such as housing, health and education,” said Bonganay.
Salinlahi and one of its member organizations, Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC), are set to implement a children’s activity next week to help children understand their basic rights. [BicolToday.com]