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Youth group, dwellers barricade community against scheduled demolition tomorrow

September 22, 2010

Youth group Anakbayan joined the residents of Brgy. San Roque, Quezon City tonight when they erected several barricades in various parts of the community against a planned demolition tomorrow.

San Roque is part of the North Triangle area which is being eyed by the Q.C local government and the Ayala Corporation to be developed into a ‘Q.C Central Business District (QC CBD)’, modeled after the Makati Business District. The Q.C CBD will displace an estimated 16,000 families as well as the offices of several government agencies such as the Dept. of Agriculture and the Dept. of Agrarian Reform.

“We are staunchly opposed against any demolition without a decent relocation site for the affected families. You can’t destroy their homes and then leave them to fend for themselves like rats” said Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Bañez.

She cited reports by several dozen families have already accepted the relocation plan to Rodriguez, Rizal last June. According to them, their new community lacks basic amenities such as potable water, plumbing, and electricity. It is also far from any source of employment.

“It is ironic that the government can spend outrageous sums for the military, pork barrel, and debt interest payments, yet cannot give the residents of Brgy. San Roque a livable relocation site” said the youth leader.

According to official 2011 national budget proposal by the Dept. of Budget and Management, the above-mentioned expenditures will be increased by the following amounts next year:

–          Dept. of National Defense: P104 billion from P96 billion

–          ‘Pork barrel’ or PDAF: P24 billion from P10 billion

–          Debt interest payments: P359 billion from P329 billion

“With such amounts being thrown about like candy by the Aquino administration, the residents of San Roque have every right to demand a proper relocation site. The amount needed for that is a drop of water compared to the money that will be misused in the 2011 budget” said Bañez.

Members of Anakbayan will accompany the San Roque dwellers keep watch on the barricades until tomorrow, the date being mentioned by the official order of the National Housing Authority (NHA). Anakbayan will also join the nationwide walkout of students this Friday to call for more spending on social services such as education and housing.

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