Duterte to abolish urban poor commission
President Rodrigo Duterte will abolish the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), Malacanang said on Tuesday.
“The President has also asked me to identify the commission he intends to abolish: the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.
“And the President stated two grounds behind his decision to abolish the commission. Number one, it is, according to him, a collegial body, and they have not met as a collegial body. Number two, the commissioners are notorious for junkets abroad. This kind of work performance has no place in the Duterte administration,” Roque added.
The Palace official further said that “this latest decision of the President to abolish the PCUP, among others, for unnecessary junkets of its officials, prove beyond doubt that the President is very serious in his anti-corruption campaign.”
Terry Ridon, a known left-leaning official, is the chairman of PCUP.
In a statement, Ridon thanked the President “for the opportunity to serve the nation.”
“The public record of the agency can speak for itself: we had implemented with full integrity the presidential promise of no demolition without relocation,” he said.
“We had represented government and given voice to the urban poor in international conferences on public housing, poverty alleviation and climate change, which was unprecedented in any administration,” he added.
Despite the allegations of lavish junkets abroad, Ridon insisted that “we performed our mandate to the best of our abilities, with integrity and competence, despite the heavy burden of undertaking genuine reform.”
PCUP was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 82 last December 8, 1986. It serves as the direct link between the government and the urban poor in the formulation of policy and programs to address the needs of the society’s indigent sector.
PCUP’s functions included evaluation of the government’s shelter-related or resettlement projects for squatters or informal settlers, as well as preparation of programs for the human development, basic services, and employment and livelihood of the urban poor. /kga
NOTE: Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque later sent a clarification that President Rodrigo Duterte would not dissolve the PCUP, but would instead fire its commissioners, including its chairman, Terry Ridon.