MAKABAYAN BLOC SUPPORTS KADAMAY ACTION
The Makabayan bloc expresses its full support for the series of militant actions led by urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) to occupy thousands of idled and vacant houses in government relocation sites in Bulacan which started last March 8.
The Makabayan bloc also disputes the characterization of the ongoing occupation as “anarchic.” On the contrary, what we are witnessing is an organized action of homeless victims of violent demolitions and failed resettlement programs of government to boldly assert and claim their right to mass housing, decent shelter and a dignified standard of living.
The organized occupation of idled and vacant public housing units is a response to the continuing failure of government to provide decent mass housing for the poor and homeless. There is no one to blame but government itself for the housing crisis.
The occupants are poor informal settlers, renters, and sharers who have been uprooted from urban poor communities in the National Capital Region, often through violent demolitions. With houses demolished, families of sharers and renters were forced by poverty to live with resettlement beneficiaries in cramped 20 square meter houses. The government excluded these homeless, poor families of sharers and renters in housing program despite them being victims also of forcible demolition and grinding poverty. Together with their kin in resettlement areas, they endured cramped quarters, lack of access to basic utilities and services such as electricity, clean water and sanitation, and schools and health centers.
The informal settlers militant actions has exposed the bitter reality of worsening housing crisis brought by bureaucrats and corporate greed. The truth is that thousands of public housing units that have been constructed in recent years remain idle and unoccupied while millions of Filipinos lack decent shelters.
Makabayan recognizes the justness of their cause and supports their call for President Rodrigo Duterte to break off from past administrations’ neoliberal policies on housing and social services, and move towards free and mass housing policy. Makabayan also calls for the government to address long-term solutions to housing and poverty and pushed for national industrialization and genuine land reform to finally resolve poverty.
ARIEL B. CASILAO
EMMI A. DE JESUS ANTONIO L. TINIO
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