Around 9,000 representatives of urban poor organizations from all over Metro Manila on Saturday gathered at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City where they expressed their strong support for the presidential bid of Senator Grace Poe.
The Broad Urban Poor Coalition (BUPC) and Senator Grace Poe signed a “Unity Statement,” which outlined the policy proposals that basically upholds the right of the people to live in the city, adoption of the in-city housing policy and other proposals that will ensure delivery of a doable and decent shelter to the urban poor.
Blanda Martinez, chairperson of the BUPC, said “Sa lahat ng kumakandidato sa pagkapresidente, si Grace Poe lang ang nakinig sa hinaing namin at isinama niya ang mga panukala namin sa kanyang agenda [among the candidates for president, Grace Poe was the only one who listened to our proposal and she included our proposal in her agenda.]”
Poe happily welcomed the support of the 9,000 representatives of 109 urban poor organizations, where she vehemently stressed that the agenda of the coalition is definitely very much aligned to her platform when it comes to housing.
“Our tagline is Walang Maiiwan sa Gobyernong May Puso [no one is left behind in a government with heart]. The in-city housing policy is a clear manifestation of how we give importance to the right of the people to have an affordable and decent homes inside the city, where they are closer to their jobs and basic services of the government,” Poe told the urban poor representatives.
“It is not fair that home ownership is only available to those in the higher income-levels. We should give adequate access for the people to achieve their dreams of having their own homes,” Poe added.
Martinez told the media: “We initiated this event because all of the rallies are mostly political. We wanted to have a rally and a platform where we can have a presidential candidate sit with us and gave here commitment on a legitimate and urgent issues such as the provision of decent shelter to the poor.” Those who attended the event are members of the BUPC, which is composed of around 109 urban poor organizations of informal settlers from different parts of Metro Manila. The said coalition is advocating for the adoption of the in-city housing policy and institutionalization of the people’s plan—a process that includes the beneficiaries themselves in planning for housing programs.
Martinez further emphasized that the BUPC, being the biggest alliance of urban poor organizations in the country have bonded together to ensure the victory of Senator Grace Poe in a clean elections on May 9. She said the coalition “strongly believe that Poe is the only presidential candidate who will surely work on the needs of the poor people.”
In an interview, Martinez said Poe is the only candidate who “truly and seriously listened to the demands of the urban poor.”
“Si Mam Grace lang po talaga ang makakatulong sa aming mga mahihirap lalo na sa problema ng pabahay, contractualization, at regular na trabaho na may mataas na suweldo [Mam Grace is the only president who could help us poor people, specifically on the problems of housing, contratualization, and regular jobs with high salary]” Martinez said.
She said Poe vowed to raise the budget for the housing project of the government, which will ensure that more urban poor people in various parts of the country will truly benefit in the housing program of the government.
She also said that it is only Poe who will work on to end contractualizaton work system in the country by means of creating jobs.
Data provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that more 35 million workers are working as contractual as of 2016.
She pointed out that many people in the urban poor sector are workers who need regular jobs with better pay to have decent jobs.
BUPC is the biggest alliance of urban poor organizations in the country having 109 organizations on its fold.
Martinez emphasized that BUPC officers and members nationwide will ensure that Poe will become the next president in the next six years since she carries the best and feasible program of government for the urban poor and labor sectors.