Urban poor residents along North Triangle believe that the so-called road-widening project is just an excuse to demolish their homes.
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – Estrelieta Bagasbas, an urban poor leader from North Triangle, said another threat of demolition looms in their community.
“About 156 families received a letter from the local government inviting them to a consultation last April 19. During the meeting, they were told that there would be a road widening project in our area,” Bagasbas told Bulatlat.com.
Bagasbas said they do not believe that it is a mere road widening project. “That translates to a demolition,” she added.
Hundreds of families are still residing in the urban poor community at North Triangle despite continuing threats of demolition. The government plans to pursue the Quezon City Central Business District, a 256-hectare project that would reportedly put Quezon City at the forefront of foreign investments. One of its biggest investors is the Ayala Land Inc., a real estate giant in the country.
Last April 21, 2012, North Triangle residents along EDSA also received a road widening notice. A few months later, the local government demolished the homes of the residents. As of this writing, the road has not been widened. Instead, there is a signage that read that a high-rise condominium would be constructed there.
Ofelia Capacio, 30, whose husband attended the meeting, said she too believes that the so-called road widening project is just a tactic to demolish their homes.
The letter, dated April 16, 2013, invited select families to join a discussion “on matters regarding where your house now sits, which is part of Area CT (Central Terminal), owned by the National Housing Authority.”
“We were surprised. If they will remove the houses within the 11.3 meters, nothing would be left here. They will get rid of everyone here. They will not leave one house,” Capacio said.
Capacio said they would not concede to the proposed relocation plan. Her husband is a construction worker. They have no regular income. “Living in Montalban would bring us farther to our source of income. We will not survive there,” she said.
“At the same time, we also do not have resources to rent an apartment (here in Quezon City). It is too expensive,” she added.”