Monday, July 8, 2013
A LAWMAKER has filed a bill in the House of Representatives proposing a code of conduct during demolitions and evictions.
The Code of Conduct for Demolition and Eviction of Homeless and Underprivileged Citizens being proposed by Parañaque City Representative Gustavo Tambunting states that law enforcement personnel, local government units and other stakeholders shall guarantee that demolitions or evictions proceed in a just and humane manner.
“The outbreak of violence during the conduct of evictions and demolitions of our urban and rural poor brethren has not only consistently hogged headlines, it has and more unfortunately, led to instances of severe injuries as well as to the loss of lives,” said Tambunting, former vice mayor of Parañaque.
Tambunting’s proposal seeks to strengthen the safeguards provided for in the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992.
Last week, informal settlers living at Barangay Pagasa in Quezon City clashed with the police authorities along Agham Road. Six individuals were injured in the riot.
Tambunting also highlighted “the equally unfortunate incident of a court sheriff’s run-in with a local chief executive aired over local and international media, and which caused equal amount of embarrassment and consternation among citizens.”
In 2011, then Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte punched the sheriff implementing a demolition order by a local court.
Under his proposal, persons and concerned agencies as well as local government units which intend to undertake the demolition shall secure a Certificate of Compliance from the appropriate national or local office of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), which shall be designated as the Central Coordinating Body for Demolitions under the bill.
It also provides that no demolition or eviction activities shall be undertaken unless full coordination with the barangay officials wherein the property sought to be entered by persons, departments, agencies and local government units intending to undertake demolition and eviction activities is located.
Furthermore, all agencies mandated or requested to provide assistance to any person, department, agency or local government unit which intends or proposes to undertake demolition and eviction activities, shall prepare a list of officers and personnel who shall be designated to provide such assistance.
Once signed into law, a sum of P10 million shall be appropriated to the PCUP in addition to its appropriations in the current General Appropriations Act. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)