At East Bank Manggahan Floodway in Barangay Sta. Lucia, Pasig, children were crying at the sight of their homes being destroyed.
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.
Children were heard crying, “why are you destroying our homes?” to any of the demolition enforcers who would dare answer.
Demolition of homes in at the berm side of East Bank Manggahan Floodway in Barangay Sta. Lucia, Pasig commenced at 9am today.
Members of the Philippine National Police, SWAT, demolition team, firetrucks arrived in Javier Bridge just before 9am.
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.
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.
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.
Around 700 families would be rendered homeless by the end of this day.
They were offered tents by the local government units where they could temporarily take shelter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Pasig local government had only said they wanted to clear the area for a flood control project.