Women marched today on the occasion of President Rodrigo Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) to once more bring forward women’s demands for regular jobs and homes.
Gabriela Women’s Partylist (GWP) Reps. Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas met with women from various sectors and urban poor communities to receive a letter which they hope to hand over to President Duterte when Congress hold session later this afternoon.
“Duterte promised job creation and inclusive growth. We were moved by his very strong pronouncements against oligarchs and his consistent declaration of putting an end to contractualization. But one year into his administration, the practice of ENDO still prevails and worse this was even legitimized with its DO 174. President Duterte is nowhere near fulfilling his promise,” De Jesus said.
“There is no inclusive growth. There is no job creation. 16.22 million women are shut out of the labor force. The economy remains backward and fails to employ women in productive sectors,” she added.
De Jesus and Brosas along with the rest of the Makabayan bloc have filed initiatives in Congress to push for regular employment including HB 1045 or the Regular Employment Bill and House Resolution No. 1121 for Congress to probe on Henry Sy’s ‘Endo’ Empire.
Other groups also expressed their demand for housing, holding Duterte to his word against any demolitions without consequent relocation with various government projects threatening to displace them from their communities.
“Noong humarap si Duterte sa mga batchmates nya sa San Beda noong nakaraang taon sinabi ng Pangulo na sa kanyang panunungkulan ay walang demolition ‘pag walang relokasyon. Kinondina pa nga ni Duterte ang pagpapalayas ng walang relokasyon dahil hindi naman daw kami mga aso na basta basta mo na lang sisirain ang mga bahay na tinitirhan,” said Rose Bihag, Gabriela Secretary General.
“Ngunit andito kami ngayon sinusulong ang demanda ng pagtupad sa pangakong ito at pangako ng maayos na bahay at seguridad sa aming tirahan,” she added.
A community of 5700 families in Temporary Housing in Brgy. 105 Tondo face fear of demolition as the temporary shelter is set to be destroyed by NHA. There is no clear plan nor a relocation site for said families.
“Hindi po malinaw sa amin pa kung ano ang mangyayari. Kung matutuloy na po ba ang pagpapatayo ng proyekto ng gobyerno sa aming lugar at kung saan kami ililipat. Sa ngayon po malakas ang takot sa aming lugar dahil sa baka bigla na lang din kaming paalisin,” said Nere Guerero of Gabriela Women’s Party Quezon City.
“Sana po huwag na kaming paalisin dito sa lugar namin dahil andito po ang aming kabuhayan at dito na din po nag-aaral ang aming mga anak. Pag nilipat po kami na malayo dito, para na din po kaming tinanggalan ng karapatang mabuhay at buhayin nag aming mga pamilya,” she added.
Brosas said that various House Resolutions were filed to call on the government to halt evictions and demolitions.
“We filed House Resolution 238 and House Resolution 604 which concerns eviction and demolitions of our urban poor communities. HR238 calls for the immediate imposition of a nationwide moratorium on forced eviction and demolitions, it also seeks for the protection of the community from violent attacks pending provisions for livelihood, adequate housing, and social services by the government,” Rep. Brosas said.
“GWP and the MAKABAYAN bloc also filed HR604 calling to House Committee on Housing and Urban Development to conduct an investigation on the current state of forcibly evicted families and relocation sites. There are numerous complaints about relocation sites being far from livelihood and are not habitable at all. We want to secure that these families relocated to the sites offered by the government are safe and has access to essential food, potable water, sanitization, livelihood, education, and healthcare,” she aded.
“We in the Makabayan bloc and various stakeholders are doing our part in making our appeal heard by the President. It is now up for the Duterte administration to do its part and fulfill the promise of change for the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of our country.”#