Aquino takes urban poor under his wing with EO | Inquirer News
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Aquino takes urban poor under his wing with EO

MANILA, Philippines—President Aquino has removed the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor from the supervision of the Department of Agrarian Reform and placed it under the direct control of Malacañang.

Executive Order No. 69, signed by Mr. Aquino on March 29, aims to strengthen the PCUP “to achieve the strict observance of the law [on the sector and housing] and the Ten-Point Covenant of the President with the urban poor.”

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Aside from coming under the supervision of the Office of the President, the PCUP, as mandated by EO 69, will now be represented at meetings of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, key shelter agencies, local housing boards and other similar bodies.

It will also be required to submit quarterly reports to the Office of the President on “the status of compliance with the provisions” of the order and “the pertinent provisions of the law governing the eviction” of urban poor and “demolition” of their colonies.

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“There is a need to strengthen the mandate of the PCUP to achieve the strict observance of the law and the Ten-Point Covenant of the President with the urban poor,” Mr. Aquino said in explaining the rationale for the order.

On the transfer of the PCUP from The DAR, he said, “the concerns of the urban poor go beyond undertaking a continuing program of land reform and housing and shall therefore include the totality of all factors for decent living and support services designed to alleviate the plight of the urban poor.”

The order transfers the PCUP from the DAR to Malacañang “to effectively coordinate, formulate and evaluate policies and programs concerning the urban poor.”

“The PCUP shall undertake social preparation activities related to asset reform, human development and basic social services, employment and livelihood, and other programs of the government for the urban poor,” the order read.

The order also directs the PCUP, HUDCC, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the National Anti-Poverty Commission, in coordination with the CHR, to jointly formulate guidelines to ensure strict compliance with Republic Act No. 7279, as well as the implementation of the provisions of the order.

“All other heads of departments, agencies, bureaus and offices, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, as well as local government units, civil society and people’s organizations, shall render full assistance and cooperation and provide such other information and data as may be required to carry out its functions pursuant to this order,” the EO read.

Republic Act No. 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 requires local governments, in coordination with the PCUP, “to afford program beneficiaries an opportunity to be heard and to participate in the decision-making process over matters involving the protection and promotion of their collective interests.”

RA 7279 and its implementing rules and regulations also uphold the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the homeless and underprivileged citizens.

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TAGS: Aquino Administration, Department of Agrarian Reform, Malacañang, President Benigno Aquino III, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor, Republic Act No. 7279, Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992
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