San Roque residents denounce demolition threats amid pandemic

Published January 30, 2021, 11:40 AM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Residents of Sitio San Roque, an urban poor community in Quezon City, are allegedly facing threats of house demolition in the middle of a pandemic, a rights’ group said.

(Save San Roque Alliance)

Save San Roque Alliance, a group fighting for the community members’ rights, said several community leaders, particularly in the Palochina area, were allegedly being coerced to convince the residents to give up their houses.

This is because, the alliance said, a developer will “reportedly create a road from Agham Road leading towards the current establishments in Vertis North as part of the planned Quezon City Central Business District (QCCBD) and will be needing their part of the community to be demolished.”

About 142 households, whose sources of income mostly depend on street selling and construction works, would be affected.

Residents who will voluntarily demolish their homes will supposedly receive P150,000 or P32,000, which will depend if their structures are in “good census,” the alliance said.

“The rest of the residents who do not fall in those criteria will either receive P5,000.00 cash or nothing,” it added.

San Roque residents in a statement “strongly condemned” the demolition threat, which they said is a violation of a memorandum issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) that all local government should postpone any demolition activities while the country is still in the state of national emergency.

“Tinututulan namin ang demolisyon lalo na ngayon ay may pandemya at naghihirap na ang mga tao dahil walang hanapbuhay. Pati ba bahay ay nanakawin pa sa amin? (We oppose the demolition especially that we’re still in a pandemic and people are suffering from losing source of income. Are they going to take even our homes from us?),” community leader Jhing Aday said.

The community members, who fear of returning to the streets amid the pandemic, are counting on Mayor Joy Belmonte for her help.