MANILA — Malacañang said Thursday President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to stop members of the urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) from occupying the socialized housing units of the National Housing Authority (NHA).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte made the directive after Kadamay members attempted to invade another housing project intended for police and military in Rizal province.
In March last year, thousands of members of the group occupied an idle NHA housing site intended for soldiers in Pandi, Bulacan.
Duterte eventually allowed the Kadamay members to stay in their occupied units after the NHA has failed to evict some 20,000 illegal dwellers from more than 5,000 NHA housing units.
“In the past, the President allowed Kadamay to occupy housing projects intended for soldiers in Pandi, Bulacan but if you will recall, the President said that would be the first and the last,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
“Given this latest attempt, the President has given directives to the police that Kadamay should not be allowed to take over these housing units,” he added.
Roque said Duterte has also directed the NHA to explain why it has so many idle housing units.
“He also asked the NHA when they intend to distribute these (idle) housing units to the intended beneficiaries,” he said.
Roque said a case will be filed against the illegal dwellers if Kadamay again tries to occupy the NHA housing units.
“Then, they will have to deal with the full extent of the law. The role of the President is to implement the law, he will implement the law,” he said.
The spokesperson appealed to members of Kadamay to follow the process on how to avail of the government’s socialized housing program.
“The point is since this housing project was built using government money, we should wait for the NHA decision and do not just invade the area and declare that the units are for them. It’s not the kind of system of the law that we have,” Roque said in a radio interview.
He said Pag-IBIG alone has PHP500 billion that can be used to finance the social housing program.
“What I know is that these housing units are 250,000. So if they are really willing, they can have it but they have to wait for the NHA decision and not to decide for themselves. That’s not proper,” he said. PNA-northboundasia.com