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Urban poor groups hold noise barrage, demand jobs, services, and food

Caloocan urban poor: decent jobs, essential services, and food!
Not GMA’s empty promises on her SONA

JULY 26, 2008 – About a hundred informal settlers in Camarin, Caloocan City went out to the streets at 6pm to hold their own state of the nation address (SONA) as part of the week-long protest activities conducted by the National Urban Poor Coalition (NUPCO) dubbed as the “SONA ng Maralita, hindi SONA ng MASALITA: Sa community, hindi sa Commonwealth.”

The urban poor in Camarin who are also mostly resettled there by the government demanded decent jobs, basic services, and food for them. They claimed that they are already tired of hearing the state of the nation address of Gloria M. Arroyo which is empty. “We have never felt the progress that GMA claims each time she delivers her SONA.”

“We were relocated here more than ten years ago, but even with security of tenure in our lands and homes we still find it difficult to live here because of the absence of decent jobs as well as lack of access to essential services especially water and health,” said Nestor Yranon, chairperson of Lumaban Ka – member organization of NUPCO.
“Worse, the high prices of food particularly rice, as well as oil and electricity push as all the more to our limits. We wanted to have jobs, but there is none. How can we survive with the rising costs of commodities and services with just P100 a day that we earn from vending and driving of pedicabs and tricycles?,” added Yranon.

Yranon explained that their situation is a reflection of a flawed poverty alleviation including housing program of the government. He said that poor people want and need a place in the city, but the essential goods and services as well as decent jobs have to be provided also by the government.

NUPCO asserts that relocation is not enough. The government must make sure that it is truly a RE-SETTLEMENT area for the poor. By “resettlement” it means, the place is livable. “Humane housing and dignified living for the poor must be provided, thus the socio-economic factors have also to be taken into account in any re-settlement program of the government for the poor.”

Some members of Umalab ka-Alab Katipunan, a member of NUPCO, tricycle drivers under Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Transportasyon (PMT), and Akbayan were among those who led the community action.

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July 26, 2008 - Posted by | PRESS RELEASES/STATEMENTS | , , , , ,

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