MANILA (UPDATE) - The National Housing Authority (NHA) will not push through with the eviction tomorrow of Kadamay members who have illegally occupied over 5,000 housing units in 6 NHA projects in Bulacan.
The NHA arrived at the decision following a three-hour dialogue with Kadamay leaders and members of the Makabayan bloc.
NHA spokesman Elsie Trinidad said that the Kadamay occupants will undergo validation and processing to determine whether they are eligible for housing under existing NHA rules.
"Ito yung nakitang initial step towards a peaceful resolution without depriving din yung iba. But this doesn't mean na talagang tolerated na yon," Trinidad said.
The agency said that Kadamay members who already received government housing before will be ineligible to get another housing unit.
Kadamay members who are proven to be "professional squatters" or those who sold or rented out their government-provided housing units in the past will also be disqualified from getting the houses they are already occupying.
The period of validation will be from April 3 to May 30.
Kadamay national chairperson Bea Arellano, however, is appealing to the NHA to forego its validation and processing and instead immediately award the occupied housing units to Kadamay members.
"Ang kahilingan po kasi namin, i-award na sa mga nandyan na nangangailangan kasi matagal naman na po iyan na nakatiwangwang," Arellano said.
Meanwhile, Kadamay members were elated after learning that the NHA will not evict them tomorrow. They also expressed hope in being awarded housing units.
"Maraming salamat kung ibibigay, makatulong talaga sa mahihirap, pinatayo naman talaga ito para sa mahihirap," Kadamay member Reynante Magbanua said.
Reynaldo Sindillo, who has been homeles for years, said he hopes the house he occupies will eventually be his.
"Wala naman kami tinitirhang bahay, natutulog lang kami sa palaisdaan kaya kami nagpursigi dito," Sindillo said.
Meanwhile, the NHA is set to meet with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Housing Boards on May 30 to determine how many of the intended beneficiaries still want to claim the housing units now occupied by Kadamay.
The NHA says these beneficiaries have the option to apply instead for another housing project which would have units bigger than the current 22-square-meter houses. This new project, however, has yet to be funded by government. --with additional reports from Ron Gagalac and Robert Mano, ABS-CBN News and DZMM