Members of Kalipunan ng Mamamayan na Pinagkaisa sa NBP, Inc. (Kampina) marched from the NBP gate to the Muntinlupa City Hall to slam the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Master Development Plan, which aims to privatize the NBP compound’s 366.7 hectares of land for mixed-use projects.

Around 10,000 families, some who lived for as long as 30 years in the compound, will be affected by the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program.

Bella Diaz, president of Kampina, called on the government to award the land to the residents or to give them affordable housing if free land distribution to long-time residents is not possible.

“Ang apektado po sa loob ng NBP Reservation Area, kami ay nasa more or less 10,000 families. Times 3 natin, 30,000 mamamayan ng NBP ang nagugutom na. Pinutulan kami ng suplay ng tubig sa NBP, may apat na komunidad na isang buwang nang walang tubig. Ginawa nila’ yon para raw umalis na kami,” said Diaz.

[The affected families in the NBP Reservation Area numbers to 10,000. If we multiply that number by 3, there are 30,000 residents are going hungry. They cut off our water supply in NBP, there are four communities that no longer has water supply. They did that to us so we will leave.]

NBP residents trooped to the city hall to protest an eviction notice from the BuCor that lapsed on March 20. Photo by Jade Dela Cuadra.

The residents decried that BuCor’s moves to cut off the water and electricity and to prohibit water and construction supplies inside the area to allegedly drive away the residents.

Some of the NBP residents affected were those who were relocated to NBP after their homes along the Philippine National Railways within the city were demolished in 2009. They were made to sign a usufruct agreement in 2009 that stated they could use the land for 30 to 35 years.

Residents who lived in the compound before 2009 said they had been paying through a “community mortgage program” (CMP) that would allow them to have rights or own the land their homes were built after they completed paying the mortgage, a period of around 30 years. The CMP was replaced by the usufruct agreement and reportedly recorded their payments back to zero.

NBP residents trooped to the city hall to protest an eviction notice from the BuCor that lapsed on March 20. Photo by Jade Dela Cuadra.

Diaz also said that the government land is massive and a lot are idle and could definitely take into consideration a portion for housing for the current residents. Diaz also implored the government to look after the welfare of ordinary Filipinos and its own citizens instead of giving the land for purposes of big business or foreign profits and benefits through BBB or onerous foreign project loans.

Some 200 residents who picketed at the city hall sought a dialogue with City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi over the issue of the NBP Master Development Plan, which residents identify as a program for privatization of public lands and demolition of their homes.

During the dialogue, Fresnedi admitted that there have been no formal meetings held between his office and the BuCor through its Director Nicanor Faeldon. The City Mayor also assured residents that he will express their sentiments to Faeldon.

The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) gave the residents 15 days to vacate their homes in a letter dated March 5, 2019.


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