Former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday helped hundreds of residents of Caloocan City realize their dream of owning the land they are currently occupying by awarding them their Certificates of Land Allocation (CELA).
Speaker Arroyo, together with Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan, led the distribution of the certificate of eligibility to lot award to residents of Camarin, Caloocan City North that qualified under Presidential Proclamation (PP) No. 379 that she signed 2 June 2003 when she was president.
During her speech, Arroyo told the beneficiaries that as awardees of CELA, they could no longer be ejected from their place or their houses demolished.
“May CELA na kayo, ang ibig sabihin may lupang naka-asign sa inyo, inyo na yun. Di na kayo tatanggalin doon at pag nabayaran na ninyo yung lupang yun, kung sino man mamimili ng lupa sa subdivision ay meron kayong titulo o Transfer Certificate of Title,” she explained.
PP 397 amended Proclamation No. 843 dated 26 April 1971 which reserved the Tala Estate located in the City of Caloocan for various government uses by segregating an area of 14 hectares from the parcel reserved for civic center purposes of the City Government of Caloocan and reserving the same as socialized housing site.
The said area is open for disposition in favor of the bonafide residents thereon, in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order No. 131 dated 1 October 2002 of which portion is part of Lot 9, Bcs-04-000143 located in Caloocan City.
Arroyo told the crowd that when she had her first dialogue with the urban poor after becoming president in 2001, she asked them what their dreams were.
“Aba sinagot ako ng mga kausap ko na katiyakan sa lupang tinitirikan ang kanilang pangarap. Kaya sabi ko, ‘yun ang aking maging hangarin bilang pangulo para sa maralitang tagalungsod,” she said.
“Kaya gumawa ako ng maraming proclamation na ang pinaka resulta noon ay di na kayo ide-demolish, hindi na kayo paalisin, may katiyakan na kayo sa lupang tinitirikan ninyo,” the Speaker said.
During her stint as president, Arroyo signed about 118 proclamations that give urban poor ownership of the land where they have been living for many years.
The former president is hopeful that the implementation of the proclamations she signed will continue even as she is set to step down as Speaker when her term ends on 30 June 2019.
“Ako ay umaasa na kahit ako ay bumaba na sa pwesto, tuloy tuloy pa rin itong ginagawa natin na iniimplementa yung mga proclamation na ginawa ko bilang pangulo. Kasi nagsimula na muli yung ating momentum siguradong tuloy tuloy ma yun,” said Arroyo.
The beneficiaries expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the Speaker who facilitated the fast implementation of PP 397 despite the very short time left in her term as House Speaker.