(File photo)

MANILA – Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) chairperson and chief-executive-officer Undersecretary Elpidio Jordan Jr. called for unity and stronger coordination among government agencies in properly handling the growing concern over the plight of the country’s urban poor.

Jordan made this call as he recognized the enormity of the problem in solving the issue of informal settlers living in private or government owned land.

Speaking at the final day of the PCUP-hosted conference on “Just and Humane Demolition and Eviction” in Quezon City on Saturday, Jordan admitted that the issues in Pre-Demolition Conferences (PDCs) can only be solved if all the concerned stakeholders join hands to face the problem squarely.

During the two-day conference, stakeholders cited the obstacles they encounter with regards to addressing the problem of informal settlers.

They also identified the factors that have rendered the process inutile in certain aspects.

“Napakalaki ng ating problema ukol sa mga PDC dahil dito nagkakaroon tayo ng kakulangan tulad ng pagbibigay ng tulong sa ating mga maralitang tagalungsod na kapag ide-demolish na ang mga bahay o i-e-evict na sa kanilang mga tinitirhan ay kailangang mabigyan ng relocation o kaya ay financial assistance (We have a very big problem with PDCs because of this we cannot immediately provide them shelter when their houses are demolished or evicted from their places of residence have to be given relocation or provide them financial assistance),” Jordan said.

Jordan said the PCUP is only mandated to link the urban poor to the government agencies that can help them with their concerns.

“Hindi kaya ito ng iisang ahensya. Alam nating nais ng ating Pangulong Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. na matulungan ang ating mahihirap na kababayan subalit we have to help each other in doing this. Dapat ay magkaisa tayo at magtulungan para malunasan ang usapin ng urban poor at ang kakulangan sa pabahay para sa ating mamamayan (One agency cannot do it alone. We know that President Ferdinand Marcos wanted to help the poor but we have to help each other in doing this. We should unite and help each other to address urban poor issues and lack of housing projects),” he said.

He said he planned to push the establishment of satellite offices that would move the PCUP closer and more accessible to the people, particularly the marginalized sectors and underprivileged families.

“Mahalaga ito dahil dito rin natin malalaman kung ilan po talaga ang ating urban poor na kailangan nating tulungan. possible (This is important because through this we will know urban poor are in need of help). We in the PCUP are actually in the process of determining possibilities of fulfilling our mandate in the most righteous way,” he said.

Jordan said the PCUP is ready to serve the Filipino people through the fusion of talents under the leadership of unity and equity.

“Para sa maralitang tagalungsod (For urban poor), we are ready to serve. And to our leaders, we should be guided that leaders are not supposed to create followers but should produce more devoted leaders instead,” he said. (PNA)