MANILA – A portion of Agham Road in Quezon City is currently impassable after some informal settlers occupied its center island and one whole lane following the demolition of structures in the area last Monday.
Angelina Qimuel, one of the informal settlers, said the government did not offer them any relocation site.
She also lamented that no financial assistance was given to them as well.
The Quezon City government earlier said the demolition of the illegal structures was due to a road widening project, and that structures standing within 11.3 meters from the road's current sidewalk will have to be torn down.
"Ipinaliwanag sa amin na kung aabutan kami ng road widening, maaari kaming magkaroon ng relocation at financial [assistance] kaya iyon ang inaasahan namin. Kaso ang nangyari, nagiba na ang bahay namin wala pa rin kaming natatanggap," Qimuel said.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said the relocation of the informal settlers should be handled by the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
He said residents who would not vacate Agham Road are composed either of settlers not qualified to receive relocation houses or qualified beneficiaries who are not willing to leave their original homes.
NHA general manager Chito Cruz, meanwhile, said some 120 homes were allotted for the illegal settlers affected by the clearing operation along Agham Road.
Cruz said families who were not included in the original census of informal settlers are not qualified for relocation. Nonetheless, he promised that the government is finding ways to finally have the road cleared of obstruction.
"Sa lalong madaling panahon gusto natin mangyari iyan. Kaso alam niyo naman dahil sa nagmamatigas ang mga residente, kailangan natin planuhin ng konti. I don’t want to make a definite time table dahil kapag sinabi nating ganitong panahon lalong nagi-increase ang tension," he said. – with a report from Dexter Ganibe, dzMM