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Church, urban poor call on government to prioritize concerns of the poor

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Church, urban poor call on government to prioritize concerns of the poor

“What will ‘development’ be when people are blinded by the glare of the arrogant lights of profit and the mantra of globalization and millions are pushed into further misery?”
MANILA — As the church calendar enters the season of Advent, church workers vow to push for better and just living conditions for poor dwellers not only in Metro Manila but the entire country. They likened poor dwellers to Mary and Joseph, who, when Mary was pregnant with Jesus, knocked from one door to another only to be offered a stable to give birth.

“In the spirit of Advent and Christmas season, God has inserted himself to experience the life and struggle of the urban poor people. And we could not do anything better than what he did,” Fr. Joe Dizon of the National Clergy Discernment Group said during the two-day Church people – Urban poor Solidarity Conference held at Adamson University.

The two-day conference paved the way for Church people and urban poor groups and its local leaders to discuss important topics that affect the lives of poor dwellers such as joblessness and wages, inaccessible social services, violent demolitions, relocations of urban poor dwellers to far-flung areas and militarization of communities resisting demolition.

Bishop Pabillo says helping the poor is deeply rooted in the scriptures and Church doctrines(Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
In his welcome remarks, Fr. Gregorio Banaga Jr. CM, president of Adamson University, said the plight of the urban poor is hardly felt by others even if they are very much part of the daily urban life. He added that due to busy schedules, there is almost no opportunity to get to know the urban poor unless there is demolition or fire.

“Special preference is given to to the poor because they are the most who are in need,” Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo DD, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, said, “It is the way of Jesus Christ. He, too, was poor and he chose to serve the poor and his followers were also from the ranks of the poor.”
Yet, Pabillo said, the attitude of most people toward the poor is either disdain, indifference, patronizing or using the poor for their own benefit. He added that what the church people must have is “genuine love and concern for the poor.”

No homes, no livelihood 

In a dialogue, urban poor groups were given an opportunity to share what they have been going through under the government’s slogan of “development.”

“Many workers hardly earn the minimum wage.” Allan Garcia, a member of Anakpawis, said in the conference. He said that in the name of development and resolving the heavy flow of traffic, the Metro Manila Development Authority has put the blame on street vendors who are merely trying to earn a living.
Authorities, Garcia said, would pour gasoline on the wares of the vendors — who, when they get home, would be confronted with threats of demolition..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/04/church-urban-poor-call-on-government-to-prioritize-concerns-of-the-poor/


Jesusa Bernardo said...

"The solidarity message further read, “Together, we must engage the government to factor in our sisters and brothers in the urban poor in development plans that would result to job opportunities, just wages, better social services and dignity."

Jesusa Bernardo said...

ito ok ito. pero sa totoo lamang, ang iba ay PROFESSIONAL SQUATTERS. syempre, trabaho pa rin ng pamahalaan ang alagaan kahit papaano ang mamamayan nito. pero yung mga professional squatters diyan, lalo yung nagbubusiness pa sa squatter land, dapat siguro managot din?

"Ramirez’s family was a victim of land grabbing in Eastern Visayas, forcing their family to migrate to Metro Manila. Her father, then a farmer, worked as a construction worker, earning only $2.3 a day.

"“I wanted to finish high school but due to financial constraints I had to work as laundrywoman at the age of 12. It was then that I first experienced having to wash piles of clothes that are higher than me.” Now, Ramirez said, she, like most mothers in their community, only dreams that her family eat at least twice, not even thrice, a day."

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