Trouble brewing in Pandi between relocatees and Kadamay

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2017 09:16 PM | Updated as of May 31 2017 01:08 AM

(UPDATED) Residents of the government's housing units in Pandi, Bulacan on Tuesday urged lawmakers to intervene in rows ensuing between legitimate homeowners and members of Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) who illegally occupied some of the housing units.

"Sa ngayon, hindi maganda ang relasyon ng mga relocatees at mga Kadamay," resident Daisy Toribillas said during a congressional hearing.

(As of now, the relationship between relocatees and Kadamay members is not good.)

In March, Kadamay members barged into housing units intended for the families of police and military personnel.

President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the militants to claim the homes after the group refused to vacate the units they illegally occupied.

"Kapag dumaan ang mga Kadamay, sasabihan na magnanakaw ng bahay. 'Yung mga relocatees naman na nagroroving, hinihingan pa kami ng ID ng kabayan. May boundary. Bawal kami pumasok doon sa kanila kasi wala kaming ID. Kami ang original na nandiyan, kami pa ang hindi pwede sa lugar na yun," Toribillas said.

(When Kadamay members pass by, relocatees call them housing thieves. Relocatees who were assigned to patrol around our community are barred from entering the area occupied by Kadamay members. There is a boundary. We cannot go to their turf because we have no IDs. We were the original settlers here yet we're the ones prohibited from entering.)

Toribillas, who was relocated to the area over a year ago, said the ID policy implemented by the illegal occupants has caused troubles in the community's garbage collection system.

"Sa basura problema kasi hindi namin mahakot basura nila kasi hindi naman kami pinapapasok."

(We cannot collect their garbage because we are barred from entering their side of the village.)

Water supply and noise during the wee hours have also spurred altercations between the two groups living in the government's relocation site in Pandi.

Since water systems have yet to be installed in most houses occupied by Kadamay members, the illegal occupants have been getting their water supply from legitimate house owners, Toribillas said.

Pandi village president Corazon Teresa said the community is sometimes plagued by foul odor as septic tanks and drainage systems were not designed to accommodate discharges from unfinished units occupied by Kadamay members.

"Ang drainage ay hindi sasapat sa tubig dahil mas malaki lang ng konti sa timba... 'Yung poso negro walang patutunguhan. 'Pag napuno po siya, 'yung tubig hahanap ng dadaanan kaya umaalingasaw," Teresa said.

(The drainage is not enough because it is only a little bigger than the size of a bucket. Some septic tanks lead to nowhere. Once it is filled, the discharge seeps through cracks and creates a stench.)

Residents said they felt wronged as it was unjust to grant housing units to families who just stormed into their community.

"Masakit para sa amin yun kasi naghintay kami ng matagal sa tamang proseso," Toribillas said.

(It hurts us because we endured the long wait using the right process.)

"Kung alam lang namin na susundin pala ang mali, sana noon pa ginawa na namin ang mali para lang magkaroon kami ng magandang bahay," she added.

(If we only knew that we can get nice houses by doing something wrong, then maybe we should have done something wrong.)

KADAMAY: Many relocation site residents are ill

Kadamay, in a statement delivered in the Senate on Tuesday, did not discuss the simmering row at the Pandi government housing site.

The urban poor group, however, lamented the alleged lack of basic social social services at the relocation site.

Kadamay said a recent medical mission at Pandi showed that many of those living in the relocation site were ill and do not have access to clean water.

"Matapos ito, nabalitaan naming may isang buntis sa Pandi 2 na nakunan. Hinarang siya ng mga bantay sa main exit at lalong napatagal sa pagpunta sa emergency room dahil napakalayo pa nito. Tunay na nanganganib ang kalusugan ng mga bawat isa sa relokasyon lalo na’t halos walang serbisyong panlipunan. Kulang na kulang ang serbisyong patubig at iba pang utilidad. Sa mga relokasyon, kung ika’y mayroon mang tubig, may pagkakataong nakakapinsala pa," the urban poor group added.

The group also cried foul over high water consumption prices. Kadamay said 10 cubic meters of water costs P209 in Bulacan, P97 in Manila, and P285 in an in-city relocation in Caloocan.

Kadamay claimed that in August 2016, two children died because of contaminated water at one relocation site.

"Taliwas sa pinakalat ng iilan sa publiko, ang panawagan ng Kadamay ay direktang kabit ng tubig at kuryente. Sa ingles ito ay ‘access’ lamang o sa madaling sabi, pantay na trato sa iba pa nating kababayan," the urban poor group said.

"Hindi ba’t wasto lamang na ang mga bahay ay may laman na pamilyang nangangailangan at gayong may tubig at kuryente din?"