Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said during a Church-run forum in Intramuros, the government should put up relocation sites that have job opportunities for 1,083 families living along Metro Manila’s rivers and esteros.
“These informal settlers are in danger and in need of resettlement before the May 15 deadline. But they should receive decent in-city or near-city relocation which can give job opportunities to them. The relocation should be prepared before the people are removed from their homes,” said Pabillo, who is also the chair of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action.
As of the moment, the government has no in-city, near-city relocation sites that can generate job opportunities for the settlers.
With demolition scheduled on May 15, two days after the election, Pabillo stressed there should be no eviction of informal settlers if there is no proper relocation set for them.
“The right relocation for the 1,083 families is where they can have their jobs and be satisfied. Currently, informal settlers opted to squat in areas where they have jobs or small businesses. The best way is to have in-city or near-city relocation sites,” Pabillo added.
Some sectors believed if government won’t be able provide the right relocation sites with job opportunities, more people would be encouraged to live in squatter’s area rather than a housing loan that charges 18% annually.
“The duty of the government now is to bring the common good to the people. In the case of the urban poor, there should be relocation sites with job opportunities,” Pabillo furthered. (Jandel Posion with reports from Czarina Chavez)