Global alliance of overseas Filipinos Migrante International today slammed the Aquino government’s plan to “blast the homes” of some 195,000 families living in waterways to allegedly resolve heavy flooding in Metro Manila.
Yesterday, DPWH Sec. Rogelio Singson announced that he was instructed by Pres. Aquino to “blast” the homes of Filipinos living in waterways as part of Malacanang’s P325-billion so-called flood control and “mitigation masterplan”.
According to Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson, “The government’s plan to demolish homes is no plan at all. It is not a solution but an aggravation of the problem. Sagad-sagaring matapobre si Aquino at mga kasamahan niya sa Malakanyang habang nagpapakasa sa aircon, masarap na pagkain, tuyong damit at maayos na tulugan.”
He said that the problem with Malacanang is that it is addressing the flood problem in a “matapobre perspective.”
“We cannot expect a government that blames the poor for the flooding to act wisely and conscientiously. Kung makapanisi ay para bang walang pananagutan ang gobyerno at para bang pinipili ng mga kababayan nating masadlak sa kawawang kalagayan nila. What the government should be doing is thinking of ways to uplift the lives and housing situation of our poor countrymen, not strip them of their homes and livelihood,” Martinez said.
He said that Aquino should realize that disaster risk management and flood-control problems are ultimately issues of the poor. “Ang mahihirap ang laging nabibiktima, ang mahihirap ang laging matindi ang pagkasalanta. Sadly, this government fails to prioritize the poor.”
Martinez also slammed the Aquino administration for its “bully” statement.
“Umaastang siga rin ang gobyerno. Ang dating ay, ‘kung hind kayo aalis ay pasasabugin namin kayo’. No heart, no consideration and empty bravado. They are forcing urban poor families to self-evict to where? Are there decent houses waiting for them? Even the government’s relocation sites are flood-prone and more dangerous.”
“We advise Aquino to descend from his high chair and address the roots of the problem, namely, the housing problem, lack of jobs and livelihood, low wages, incessant price hikes and landlessness in rural areas. “ ###