PANDI, Bulacan – Independent presidential candidate and Senator Grace Poe signed on Friday a covenant that would address seven major concerns of the 65 resettlement housing sites associations in the Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog regions that have over 140,000 member families.
The signing of the covenant between Poe and the Federation of the Housing Resettlement Sites Associations was made during a mini-rally held at the covered court of the Mapulang Lupa resettlement site in Pandi, Bulacan.
Standing beside the sweat-soaked lady senator, federation president Allan Sartorio presented to Poe their main concerns ranging from the lack of access to water and electricity to the investigation of the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the alleged anomalous construction of the resettlement sites.
Sartorio also asked Poe to prioritize the on-site, near-site and in-city resettlements so that the settlers would have access to work, schools and basic utilities; investigate the NHA developers for failure to follow the terms of reference or agreement; and, give the services promised by the government to be put up in the resettlement areas.
The homeowners’ resettlement sites federation president also appealed to the ‘Gobyernong May Puso’ presidential candidate to review the loan agreement by nullifying provisions that disqualify the settlers from the government beneficiaries if they failed to pay amortization for three consecutive months.
Sartorio also asked the lady senator to include their federations in the planning and construction of the resettlement sites.
”Ito po ang aming kahilingan at hamon sa inyo at sa May 9 ay makakaasa po kayo ng tugon para sa inyo,” Sartorio said.
In response, Poe promised to address the concerns of the federations if she will be given a chance to lead the country in the next six years.
”Nakita ko ang inyong lugar, mukhang maayos sa labas, pero sa loob ay maraming sira. Maraming kailangang tugunan at gawin. Nakalungkot isipin na ang pangunahin ninyong kailangan kagaya ng tubig, kuryente at trabaho ay hindi man lang naibibigagy sa inyo,” Poe said.
Poe said she is planning to build a low-rise building for the informal settlers near the area where they will be removed so that they will have access to their work place, schools and other basic utilities.
”Hindi na kailangan na kayo ay itapon sa mga lugar na malayo kayo sa inyong pinagtatrabahuhan,” she said to the delight of the crowd.
Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Order that investigated the Mamasapano incident, said she will investigate the alleged anomaly involving the construction of the NHA resettlement sites.
”Pagkaupo na pagkaupo ko ay babalik ako dito at pakakabitan ko kayo agad ng kuryente at tubig. Pangako ko ‘yan sa inyong samahan,” Poe said, drawing loud applause from the homeowners of the 4,000-unit resettlement site.
Poe was accompanied by famous actor Coco Martin, star in action drama television series based on the 1997 Fernando Poe Jr. film ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and one of her senatorial candidates, Roman Romulo. Jelly Musico/ PNA/ northboundasia.com