IN PHOTOS: Why are you destroying our homes?

Text by Lady Ann Salem / Photos by KJ Dumapit

At East Bank Manggahan Floodway in Barangay Sta. Lucia, Pasig, children were crying at the sight of their homes being destroyed.

Children affected by demolition of homes in East Bank Manggahan Floodway. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
Children affected by demolition of homes in East Bank Manggahan Floodway. Photo by KJ Dumapit.

Their belongings in disarray, carried to the streets, their parents and family members trying to salvage as many as they could get their hands on.

Families scramble to protect their remaining belongings and small children. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
Families scramble to protect their remaining belongings and small children. Photo by KJ Dumapit.

Children were heard crying, “why are you destroying our homes?”  to any of the demolition enforcers who would dare answer.

Families scramble to protect their remaining belongings and small children. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
Families scramble to protect their remaining belongings and small children. Photo by KJ Dumapit.

Demolition of homes in at the berm side of East Bank Manggahan Floodway in Barangay Sta. Lucia, Pasig commenced at 9am today.

Demolition of homes in Floodway pushed through after three thwarted attempts. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
Demolition of homes in Floodway pushed through after three thwarted attempts. Photo by KJ Dumapit.PH

Members of the Philippine National Police, SWAT, demolition team, firetrucks arrived in Javier Bridge just before 9am.

Residents' tried to salvage their belongings after their homes were torn down. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
Residents’ tried to salvage their belongings after their homes were torn down. Photo by KJ Dumapit.

Residents converged at Purok 2 to find out what the government authorities are doing in the area and to defend their homes in the event of a forced demolition.

Homes in Manggahan Floodway have suffered demolition since 2010. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
Homes in Manggahan Floodway have suffered demolition since 2010. Photo by KJ Dumapit.

They were surprised that even those who did not avail of relocation and financial assistance were demolished, as they were earlier told only those who consented to self-demolition would be stripped off their homes. The demolition started in Purok 5 at the community.

Demolition team tear down homes of Manggahan Floodway residents. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
Demolition team tear down homes of Manggahan Floodway residents. Photo by KJ Dumapit.

The Pasig local government ordered self-demolition of homes in the community in August, that would expire in September 22 or a forced demolition in August 31.

Homes of residents in Manggahan Floodway torn down upon orders of their local government to give way to flood control project. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
Homes of residents in Manggahan Floodway torn down upon orders of their local government to give way to flood control project. Photo by KJ Dumapit.

Around 700 families would be rendered homeless by the end of this day.

Families who lost their homes gather their children and belongings on the sidewalks. Photo by KJ Dumapit
Families who lost their homes gather their children and belongings on the sidewalks. Photo by KJ Dumapit

They were offered tents by the local government units where they could temporarily take shelter.

The local government unit of Pasig commenced with demolition of homes in Manggahan Floodway despite opposition of more than 700 families. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
The local government unit of Pasig commenced with demolition of homes in Manggahan Floodway despite opposition of more than 700 families. Photo by KJ Dumapit.

They were also offered P20,000 in financial assistance, but they said this amount would not put a roof over their heads and does not compare to the homes they lost.

Pasig local government put up tarp offering financial assistance. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
Pasig local government put up tarp offering financial assistance. Photo by KJ Dumapit.

Not all residents were able to avail of relocation units in the low-rise buildings built by the National Housing Authority on the embankment side of East Bank Manggahan Floodway. Apart from complaining of the substandard quality of the relocation units, the residents also decried the business model of these social housing programs where they would pay monthly amortization that they could not afford for as long as thirty years; to older residents, a lifetime.

Most of the low-rise buildings of the NHA in the nearby relocation site has not been completed. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
Most of the low-rise buildings of the NHA in the nearby relocation site has not been completed. Photo by KJ Dumapit.

More than 1,000 families live in the community within the bounds of Pasig City, but Manggahan Floodway stretches up to Cainta and Taytay in Rizal. Residents in Manggahan Floodway have been living in the community for as long as 40 years, while some were brought to the area by national and various local governments after they were demolished in other communities such as Pinagbuhatan in Pasig, Libis in Quezon City, Fort Bonifacio in Taguig/Makati.

A man watches over his belongings as homes in Manggahan Floodway were torn down. Photo by KJ Dumapit
A man watches over his belongings as homes in Manggahan Floodway were torn down. Photo by KJ Dumapit

The land has been twice awarded to the residents to assure them of their tenure in the area, but also twice revoked upon declaration of the area being a danger zone and upon news of development projects to be built on the public land.

Elderly and children among affected by demolition; secured by their family members on the side of the street as they salvage their belongings. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
Elderly and children among affected by demolition; secured by their family members on the side of the street as they salvage their belongings. Photo by KJ Dumapit.

The Pasig local government had only said they wanted to clear the area for a flood control project.

Pasig local government reportedly wanted to clear the area as soon as possible. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
Pasig local government reportedly wanted to clear the area as soon as possible. Photo by KJ Dumapit.
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