They won in the end.
Members of urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) can have the housing units in Pandi, Bulacan that they illegally occupied.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he was giving the government housing units in Bulacan to members of the group who took over the units in March.
In his speech during the 120th anniversary of the Philippine Army in Taguig City, the President asked the police and military personnel to give up the housing units. Duterte promised to give them better homes that they can occupy by December.
“I will look into the matter seriously and I will ask you soldiers and the policemen, bitawan na lang ninyo ‘yan, ibigay na lang natin sa kanila tutal mahirap sila [just let the units go, let’s give it to them because they are poor],” Duterte said.
The President said he will ask the National Housing Authority (NHA) to look for a “suitable land” where bigger houses for policemen and soldiers can be built.
“I promise you, I will look for another land nearby or adjacent or maybe contiguous to that area there and gagawa ako ng mas maganda. May tubig na at may electricity na pagpasok ninyo [I will build better homes, with water and electricity when you move in],” he said.
The NHA had given the assurance that it has the money to build another housing project.
“I am making you the commitment and I guarantee that you will have yours, mas maganda (it will be more beautiful.). There will be no problems because I will personally go there to supervise your housing project. And hopefully by December, mag-dasal lang tayong lahat (let’s all pray) that everything goes well and you can transfer to the new house,” Duterte said.
In March, around 4,000 urban poor residents took over the vacant housing units in resettlement sites in Pandi, Bulacan and refused to leave despite threats of physical eviction. Kadamay called on the government to give them the units, which they said were unoccupied to begin with.
The housing units in Bulacan occupied by Kadamay were meant for the personnel of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines.