ILOILO City – The University Student Council of the University of the Philippines Visayas, Kabataan Partylist, and various student organizations decried the demolition of carenderia and sari-sari stores along Ybiernas street covering barangay Inday and San Felix in Iloilo.
On January 3, Iloilo city government’s Task Force Anti-Squatting and Illegal Structure demolished at least 15 stalls along Ybiernas St. citing violations of the Revised Philippine Highway Act of 1972 and the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992.
More than 70 individuals who depend on the kioks and stores were affected by the demolition.
Barangay officials of San Felix were outrage over the demolition.
The officials said that the stalls were registered as livelihood projects for the barangay residents.
Documents obtained by Kabataan Partylist show that the livelihood project was supported by the previous Iloilo City government.
Residents of Barangay Inday and San Felix depend their income rendered from services to the students, mostly UPV.
In a joint statement of different student councils in UPV, student leaders expressed solidarity and support to Ybiernas’ residents right to live decently. They denounced Iloilo city government’s lack of compassion to the poor. The statement also encouraged the students to stand with the vendors and assert their right to live with dignity.
The student leaders plan to conduct consultations and dialogue with the Iloilo City government.
As of press time, hundreds of students have already signed a petition in defense of the livelihood of Ybiernas residents. (panaytoday.net)