Government workers dismantle homes in a squatters' colony in Navotas, Metro Manila. Photo by Reuters
MANILA – The demolition of shanties along Road 10 in Navotas City pushed through peacefully on Monday as residents voluntarily vacated their homes.
Carefully placing his furniture on top of the truck provided by government agencies, fish vendor Willy dela Pena said he has accepted the fact that he and his family have to leave their home beside the northbound lane of R-10.
"Kukunin ko na din yung relocation," said dela Pena after sifting through the rubble of his former house that was demolished Monday morning.
Local officials said homes of about 1,000 families in North Bay Boulevard will be demolished on Monday to pave way for a government's road widening project in the area.
The R-10 road widening project is part of the North Link project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The road will link the province of Bulacan to Metro Manila, reducing vehicle volume along EDSA.
Dela Pena is among hundreds of families that will be relocated to a site in Pandi, Bulacan.
Public works officials said out of the more than 900 families, some 200 families did not qualify for relocation after they failed to submit necessary documents.
"Matagal na to. Simula pa noong 2010, kausap na namin sila," said Atty. Maria Rocelle Melliza of the DPWH-NCR legal department.
The lawyer said most families who qualified for relocation were already brought to Norzagaray, Bulacan.
She said those who qualified for relocation will be brought to Pandi, Bulacan where a "people's plan"-type of relocation site awaits.
A boy cries next to his family's belongings as a government demolition crew dismantles homes in an informal settlers' colony in Navotas, Metro Manila. Photo by Reuters
The lawyer explained that a "people's plan" is different from relocation because informal settlers would be taken to a site, which is different from the development conducted on a government-initiated relocation.
For a mother of six children like Erlinda Ulambot, she was left with no choice after this morning's demolition. She had been living in the area for six years after buying the house from a former occupant.
She found out too late that their family was no longer eligible because the former occupant of the house that they bought the house from took the relocation offer.
"Nung umapela kami, sabi ng NHA, hindi na kami pwede kasi kinuha na nung dating nakatira sa bahay yung relocation,' said Erlinda.
In 1945, the Metropolitan Thoroughfare Plan was submitted by Quezon City planners Louis Croft and Antonio Kayanan.
The plan proposed the laying of 10 radial roads and the completion of 6 circumferential roads, that will act as beltways of the city, forming altogether a web-like arterial road system.
The DPWH is the government agency that deals with these projects.
The Jose Rizal Memorial Monument in Rizal Park is the Kilometer Zero of all the roads in the City of Manila. There are ten radial roads (R-1 to R-10).
The radial roads never intersect one another and they do not intersect circumferential roads twice.
The numbering is arranged in a counter clockwise pattern, with the radial road 1 in the south and 10 in the north.
There are six circumferential roads. The innermost beltway in the city is C-1, while the outermost is C-6.