MANILA, Philippines – The National Housing Authority (NHA) said not all members of urban poor group Kadamay will be granted the units they forcibly occupied in several housing sites in Bulacan.
NHA Spokesperson Elsie Trinidad said they found that as of November, there are 71 Kadamay occupants who have previously been awarded a house by the government. This makes them ineligible for another unit.
“The government has already awarded them a house, maybe in other projects of the NHA. We cannot second-guess the reason [why they occupied the Pandi houses] but usually cases like this sell their awarded units to go elsewhere,” Trinidad explained in a press briefing on Monday, November 27.
Aside from the 71 ineligible occupants, Trinidad said there were also “various findings” about Kadamay members. These findings will be disclosed after the validation of all the claimants has been completed.
Based on NHA records, a total of 8,494 Kadamay members currently live in houses in Bulacan originally intended for police and soldiers.
Last week, the urban poor group protested in front of the NHA, citing “slow” government action on the issue. They lamented that 9 months have passed since their Occupy Bulacan movement and President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement to give away the houses.
Some Kadamay members also said they find it hard to apply for a job since they are unable to get a residency certificate from the barangay without valid identification from the NHA.
Trinidad stressed that the NHA’s hands are tied until Congress is able to pass a resolution that will authorize them to redistribute the houses to non-uniformed beneficiaries. The resolution remains pending for second reading in the Senate.
“NHA has its own regulations. We are guided by law, memorandum circulars so we are accountable to the oversight members of the bureaucracy,” she said.
Despite this, the NHA said it has coordinated with provincial and municipal government units to assist Kadamay members with their needs.
“We have already partnered with local government units for them to check on the condition of the Kadamay members there who are mostly from Bulacan. In the meantime that there are restrictions, we have already brought these concerns to those who can rightfully attend to their needs,” Trinidad added.
But she clarified that aside from the Kadamay members, there are 60,000 other applicants from all over the country who are also on the waiting list.
“We are not awarding exclusively to a certain organization. The character [of the redistribution] is really for the homeless and underprivileged. It just so happened that there’s the reality that Kadamay took over the houses,” she said. – Rappler.com
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