Kadamay members heed deadline for them to leave Bacolod housing site | Inquirer News

Kadamay members heed deadline for them to leave Bacolod housing site

By: - Correspondent / @carlagomezINQ
/ 05:17 AM September 03, 2018

VILLAGE SECURITY Police secure units at the Ciudad Felisa housing project for policemen and soldiers invaded by members of the group Kadamay. —ANDY ALVAREZ / CONTRIBUTOR

BACOLOD CITY — The 1,500 informal settlers who camped out at a housing site for uniformed government personnel in the village of Felisa in this city to lay claim to unoccupied houses heeded a deadline for them to leave the area peacefully on Friday.

Susana Nonato, an architect at the National Housing Authority (NHA) who heads the housing program for soldiers and policemen, told leaders of Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) that they had to leave the housing site to prevent anarchy.


Nonato and other NHA and city officials met with Kadamay leaders who mobilized up to 1,500 of their members in entering the housing site for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.


Homeless’ rights

Kadamay leaders, insisting the homeless had a right to take over unoccupied government housing units, had initially refused to leave, citing a joint resolution of the House of Representatives and Senate endorsed by President Duterte.

They said the joint resolution authorized the NHA to award the houses that were intended for but not occupied by soldiers, policemen, firemen and jail personnel.

Nonato, however, said all 1,498 houses at Ciudad Felisa, the subdivision built for men in uniform, had all been awarded to police and military beneficiaries.

At least 45 percent of the number of housing units had been reserved for the AFP and PNP while 10 percent was for the Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and Bureau of Corrections, Nonato said.

Supt. Algen Tala told Kadamay leaders that the 675 housing units allotted for the PNP were not even enough for the number of policemen applying for the houses.


He said the PNP had already awarded 368 policemen housing units.

The P360-million Ciudad Felisa housing project started in 2012 and was completed in 2015. It is now fully booked, Nonato said.

The men in uniform who applied for housing units went through the process, she added.

“We cannot double award houses,” she said.

Nonato said Kadamay could instead submit a list of homeless people who should go through proper processing for future housing projects.

She said officials would again hold a dialogue with the informal settlers and Church officials.

Church role

Fr. Chris Gonzales, head of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Bacolod, had recommended a dialogue between officials and the informal settlers.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said lots were still available at the Arao relocation site in the village of Vista Alegre.

The city government, Leonardia said, planned to secure a loan to develop the area as a socialized housing site.

Nonato said the NHA was already addressing the lack of electricity and water facilities in Ciudad Felisa.

She said Kadamay had already invaded five government housing sites and the AFP-PNP Housing Board had already waived its rights for two such projects in favor of the informal settlers.

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Senior Supt. Francisco Ebreo, acting Bacolod police chief, said a private security agency was already securing the Ciudad Felisa project but police would provide more men.

TAGS: Kadamay, Local news, Philippines

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