Sabado, Oktubre 10, 2009

Urban poor groups warns of "rebellion" if worsening plight is not addressed soon

September 24, 2003

Urban poor groups warns of "rebellion" if worsening plight is not addressed soon

Some 1,000 leaders of urban poor organizations gathered today in a pre-summit meeting at the gym of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Manila, to discuss the worsening condition of the urban poor sector and to come up with a common platform of struggle to address their situation.

Participants came from some of the biggest urban poor groups in the country such as the Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML), the Zone One Tondo Organization (ZOTO), Kalipunan ng mga Samahan ng Maralita sa Kalunsuran (KASAMA-KA), Sagip-Tahanan at Kabuhayan Inc., Komunidad, Koalisyon Kontra Demolisyon (KKD) and the Metro Manila Vendors Alliance (MMVA).

The groups blamed the Arroyo administration for its failure to address the growing problem of homelessness in the country, the planned massive demolition of urban poor communities, the miserable conditions of relocation areas, and the unbearable cost even of low cost housing projects.

"If the GMA administration would continue treating the urban poor problems as merely for show during her time of low, she would certainly face the rebellion of the poor in the near future," said Ka Pedring Fadrigon, leader of KPML and MMVA said.

Fadrigon explained that in year 2000, there are already at least 18 million people nationwide who belong to the urban poor sector.

They continue to grow at an average rate of 200,000 a year because of the phenomenal increase in urban migration especially of poor families coming from rural areas.

Lack of jobs and resources force them to scout the urban areas for opportunities, but ended up later as hapless slum dwellers compounding the huge shortfall in housing projects of the government.

There is now a total of 4.2M backlog in housing.

The groups blamed the government's program for the rising number of homeless people because it gave priority on the private-led economic housing program rather than on the socialized housing program that would benefit the poorest of the poor.

For this year, for instance, the government has only allocated some P3B in its housing program.

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