State of the Nation Address (SONA) NG MARALITANG LUNGSOD
NUPCO shall hold a press conference on July 24, 2008 to announce the series of actions its member organizations will be conducting in their communities in Metro Manila until the day when Gloria Arroyo delivers her State of the Nation Address on July 28.
According to the coalition, the true state of the nation can be seen in their communities where poor people live in extreme poverty, without decent shelters and where social/public services are almost not felt.
The 2005 Asian Development Bank’s figures show that in Manila alone, there are 3.4 million people living in slums. When Gloria M. Arroyo (GMA) took over the presidency in 2001, the slum dwellers especially those in Parola and Baseco, were among the first communities she visited and promised them land and houses. In 2004, before the presidential elections, she visited these places again and made the same promises, and even proclaimed the lands for them.
However, on July 28, as GMA will report in her SONA how many houses have been built for the poor among other so-called “accomplishments” her administration has, millions of Filipinos are still living under inhumane condition including absence of decent housing. In fact, the 2006 data of Urban Asset Reform Program under the Office of the President show that almost 700,000 families remain as informal settlers. Among them are those promised with land by GMA in 2001 and those who were relocated but returned to informal settlements in Metro Manila because of absence of services and economic opportunities in the relocation sites.
This year, from the urban poor sector, NUPCO leaders will give their own “state of the nation address” that will reflect the true plight of the poor. NUPCO will hold series of community protest actions (candlelighting, noise barrage, and programme) beginning July 24 (Thursday) until the day of the state of the nation address on July 28 to highlight their demands addressed to GMA:
MAKATAONG PANINIRAHAN AT PAMUMUHAY, AT DISENTENG TRABAHO SA MARALITA!
July 24, 2008 (Thursday), 6 – 7pm: Gate 20 (near Manila International Container Terminal) Parola, Manila
About 200 slum dwellers/informal settlers are expected to assemble in the area where they will hold a candlelighting and noise barrage for 30 minutes as they will reiterate their call for the implementation and expansion of the coverage of Presidential Proclamations 96 and 571 declaring parcels of land in Parola and Binondo for socialized housing.
Contact person: Von Mesina, NUPCO National Council Member
July 25, 2008 (Friday), 6-7pm – along E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue
About 100 – 200 residents of Damayang Lagi who are among those threatened with eviction due to the high end mixed use development plan for the area will link arms along E. Rodriguez Sr. Church/religious people and human rights activists will join them in the call for ON-SITE DEVELOPMENT, NOT DEMOLITION in the area.
Contact persons: Noel Cano, Umalab Ka and TF-ON SITE leader
Rene Cleopas, NUPCO QC sub-area coordinator
July 26, 2008 (Saturday), 6pm: Zapote corner Camarin, Brgy. 178, Caloocan City
About 100 residents are expected to participate in the candlelighting and noise barrage protest activity to demand security of land/housing tenure for the residents in the area.
Contact person: Nestor, NUPCO National Council Member
July 27, 2008 (Sunday), 6pm: City Square or MC Mall, Tonsuya, Malabon
About 200 residents of Tonsuya, Malabon will assemble in front of City Square/MC Mall where they will hold a candlelighting and noise barrage to raise their call for expropriations proceedings to ensure land for them in Tonsuya.
Contact person: Buboy delos Reyes, NUPCO National Council Member
July 28, 2008 (Monday), 6pm: URBAN POOR’S REACTION TO GMA’S SONA