Issue of May 14, 2017
     
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PCUP summit for the landless residents set in Baguio City
by Marvin Binay–an

The Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) in coordination with the city government through the office of Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. conducted a summit for the aggrupation of landless Baguio City residents last May 9 at the Benguet Electric Cooperative Conference Hall in South Drive.

It was attended by close to 400 participants from the different homeowners’ associations/urban poor associations, which are mostly groups occupying areas covered by existing proclamations longing to have the area they occupied finally awarded or titled in their names.

PCUP Chair James Mark Terry Ridon discussed his seven-point agenda and emphasized on the “no relocation, no demolition” policy of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, which forbids demolition of informal settlers’ dwellings if there is no available relocation site. 

Lawyer James Mabulay of the Social Housing Finance Corporation oriented the participants on the Community Mortgage Program, which allows qualified urban poor groups to avail of themselves of shelter/housing loans while Joan Cananena of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council central office discussed the processes involved in the segregation for housing purposes areas covered by existing proclamations that are occupied by residents for a long time.

Beneco discussed its programs that cater to the urban poor as well as its new policy that offers P5,000 financial assistance to the family of a Beneco member-consumer who has passed on. 

The different homeowners associations/urban poor groups elected their officers, with John P. Dongla of the Navy Base Homeowners Association as federation president. They took their oath before the mayor a day later.

The newly formed group named Federation of Landless Urban Poor Associations vowed to assist in all endeavors of the landless residents in Baguio.

Yangot was the co-convenor of the summit and worked with the PCUP so that the concerns of the urban poor, especially their concerns about the the lands that they have been occupying which they want to be awarded to them is brought to the attention of the PCUP.

The PCUP chair committed that he will schedule meetings with the heads of the agencies concerned relative to their requests for segregation.


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