Families now dwell in streets after Parañaque demolition amid pandemic

Published January 27, 2021, 4:57 PM

by Dhel Nazario

Despite the memorandum  circular released by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in April 2020 to postpone all administrative demolition and eviction activities, over 50 families in Parañaque City were rendered homeless after their houses near the coastal area of the city were demolished.

Urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) condemned the demolition on January 19 in a statement on Wednesday and called it a “heartless” and “illegal” incursion against the poor.

Kadamay said that the residents were initially housed in the local gymnasium temporarily, however, they were again evicted last Monday. Now they have set up encampments along roads as street dwellers.

The demolition was enacted to make way for the expansion of the LRT 1, according to Kadamay.

On Wednesday, the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino said the residents held a mobilization demanding accountability from the Local Government Unit of Parañaque. The group decried how the authorities have conspired to leave the families “homeless and without relocation.”

The groups cited DILG’s Memorandum Circular No. 2020-068 postponing any eviction related activities while the nation remains in a state of national emergency. President Duterte declared the nation to still be under state of calamity until September 2021 through Proclamation No. 1021.

The memorandum stated that “only the identified dwellings qualified under Section 28(b) of the Urban Development and Housing Act and related Section 4(s) of Republic Act 11469 otherwise known as the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act shall be allowed eviction or demolition.”

“Provided that the eviction or demolition of the identified dwellings are crucial in the general objectives stipulated in RA 11469,” it read.

“Provided further that prior to the conduct of eviction and demolition, LGUs shall provide interim shelter facilities for affected communities who will be demolished within the locality and finally provide financial assistance, relief, and other basic services,” it continued.

The memorandum also stated that “all local government units shall provide interim shelter facilities to all homeless families and/or individuals found in their respective jurisdiction, and appropriate financial assistance, relief, and other basic services.”

Manila Bulletin has reached out to Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez but he has not replied as of this writing.