Maysapang Resident’s face the plague of demolition in Metro Manila

by Concerned Students for Justice and Peace

January 14, 2022

On the high street glamor of Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, it covers the threatening demolition in Brgy. Ususan, Maysapang to leave the residents homeless.

Even as the Philippines enforce quarantine protocols, evictions in slum areas have been progressively rising. The violent pulling down of dwellings, often known as “demolitions,” is typical in urban poor communities, particularly around Metro Manila.

Brgy. Ususan, Maysapang is a community located in Taguig, with over 550 households and over 2,000 individuals. Including homeowners, tenants, and sharers will be affected by the threatening demolition. R-II Builders and MGS Consortium won the lease sales via auction held by BCDA in November 2013, covering the 5.2 hectares of Brgy. Taguig’s Ususan. The villagers of Maysapang have a land allotment of 2.2 hectares out of the 5.2 hectares.

 Most people living in the community come from the working class since it is near Bonifacio Global City; BPO employees, restaurant workers, helpers, in BGC; some are vendors and construction workers, and others do sideline earn enough money. Most parents often barely earn enough for a day since many do not have stable jobs, are contractual, and have no pay policy. 

For the youth living in Maysapang 

To Joshua Aggabao, 17 yrs old youth residing in Maysapang, he is a high school student that dreamed of being a flight attendant one day. This dream of him But because of the threat of both pandemic and demolition, he chooses to stop going to school and join Maysapang Youth Movement to protect their land.

Amid a pandemic crisis and demolition threat, they will create more barriers to their education. The new normal has already built a wall of privilege to access learning; it will be far more difficult if they are distant from their school if the demolition transpires. Most youths go to Fort Bonifacio Highschool in Makati, and some from Taguig Integrated School. For them, the land of Maysapang is a land of hope. They create their inspirational ambitions in the community, hoping to achieve them one day. Some of them want to be teachers. 

The community of Maysapang is a land of hope for them. They create their inspirational ambitions in the community, hoping to achieve their dreams one day. Some of them aspire to be educators, but the threat of demolition precludes them from achieving their ambition. 

Demolition Notice

Since 2015, they had already experienced the threat of eviction up until November 2021, when they received a notice.

“Nais naming ipaalam sa inyo na kayo ay ilegal na umuukupa at nagtayo ng istraktura sa lupang pag-aari ng Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) na napapaloob sa Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. 28686, 38826, 28678 at 164-2010000089,” notice said

[You are informed that you are illegally occupying and building structures on land owned by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) under Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. 28686, 38826, 28678 at 164-2010000089,”] notice said.

Residents were advised to self-demolish their houses and leave the community voluntarily. They were given only 7 days until November 17, 2021. If they resist, forced eviction will occur.

However, Nagkakaisang Residente ng Maysapang Homeowners Association Inc (NRMHAOI) decries the land of Maysapang where most of the residents lived over for 3 long decades. They insisted that Maysapang be awarded to them or have a proper dialogue.

Theory said the residents have the right to a proper dialogue.

‘Under Republic Act 7279 or Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 requires consultation or participation of “program beneficiaries” or the affected residents “to be heard and to participate in the decision-making process over matters involving the protection and promotion of their legitimate collective interests.”

Homeowners argued it was unfair because the only associations that R-II Builders and BCDA talked to were the families and individuals who agreed to demolish, but it does not represent the whole group; others just agreed to demolish because they needed money for hospital bills, dialysis, or to afford basic needs. 

The struggle of Maysapang Homeowners

Kami po ay Tatlong dekada ng mahigit nakatira sa Maysapang, wala pa ang BCDA andito na ang kami {Maysapang Homeowners] pero sa nakikita namin… tila bingi ang local government sa panawagan namin,” exclaimed by Girly “Jing” Caduco, Presidente ng Nagkakaisang Residente ng Maysapang Homeowners Association Inc. during the pre-demolition conference with officials of R-II Builders and MGS Consortium.

[We have been living in Maysapang for more than three decades, we {Maysapang Homeowners] do not have the BCDA yet, but from what we can see… the local government seems deaf to our call,]

Sa anim na taon nanawagan kami ng ‘Tulong, Tulong! Hindi Demolisyon,’” Jing added.

[For six years, we have been calling for ‘Aid not Demolition'”]

Up until now, there is no definite project to be constructed on the land of Maysapang.

 For many years, Nagkakaisang Residente ng Maysapang has struggled and fought for their housing rights. However, the private firm behind it and local government officials in Taguig are refusing to engage in a conversation to address the needs of the urban poor. 

Maysapang seeks dialogue with Mayor Lino Cayetano to help them in their legal struggle against the threat of eviction, but the Mayor is nowhere to be found. 

Even when there were harassment, attacks, and intimidation by Jericko Security Service, there was no sign even from their barangay up to the Local Government Unit.

But Residents standstill in their fight against eviction. They create barricades, countless protests, and even candle lighting to clamor or register their call to stop the demolition in Maysapang, Taguig.

by Nagkakaisang Residente, Maysapang HOAI facebook post

Change is Coming, or Change is Scamming?

We cannot eradicate the Duterte administration attached to the agencies that pacify the legalization of t this number of demolitions here in Metro manila. One of the reasons is that the Duterte administration focuses more on infrastructure than public health or social housing. The planned national budget for the Department of Health. “23.2 percent lower than this year. Meanwhile, the 1.1 trillion peso money allocated to infrastructure investment in 2021 is 413 percent more than the health budget.” according to the Ibon Foundation.

With economic troubles mounting, many people are naturally concerned about being homeless or forced to relocate due to a pandemic. Kadamay believes that shelter regulations should be thoroughly examined but that avoiding community devastation and protecting public health should take precedence over political pet projects in the meanwhile.

With this narrative, who benefits from “Change is coming”? 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article is that of the author only and do not necessarily represent the views of their organization nor of the CPDG.