MORE than 5,000 beneficiaries of the Slum Improvement Resettlement program are complaining about the sharp increase of penalties for unpaid lands.
Urban poor families from barangays Pasil, Sawang-Calero, Suba, Duljo-Fatima and Alaska-Mambaling attended the meeting with the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) in the Sawang Calero barangay sports complex last Saturday afternoon.
According to Evangeline Abejo, president of Nagkahiusang Kabus (Nakabus) the affected residents had just discovered the increase in penalty rates now.
“For those who weren't able to pay the lot, they will be burdened to pay the penalty which could be more than the principal value of the land,” said Abejo.
Lands sold through the SIR program in 1988 ranged from P500 – P800 per square meter.
Based on SIR records, the lots where these affected residents live are classified as city government-owned lands way back in 1988.
The residents are requesting that City Hall condone the penalties.
Although the residents have been living there for a long time, many still don’t have titles for their lands.
The SIR, which is now attached to the DWUP charges P5,000 for land resurvey.
Lawyer Collin Rosell, chief of the DWUP encouraged those who have complaints to approach their office so they can address it.
Last Saturday's consultation was in preparation for the formal consultation meeting with Mayor Michael Rama today. /Correspondent Tweeny M. Malinao