Legal Literacy for Urban Poor Leaders Held
Last August 29-31, 2007, twenty-five leaders and organizers working on urban poor issues have just attended a Legal Literacy Training on Urban Governance, sponsored by Saligan para sa Alternatibong Lingap Panliga (SALIGAN) and Center for Popular Empowerment (CPE). The seminar was held at CBCP-NASSA BEC in Tagaytay City.
The seminar focused on developing paralegal and increasing their knowledge on housing rights and governance. The lawyer-resource persons who came from SALIGAN were Attys. Jing Gaddi, Hazel Lavitoria, Joyce Marie Guevarra and Gloria Santos.
Eviction is one of the major concerns of the participants because most of them are facing the issue at the moment. Ensuring adequate housing is also a highlight of the training. The participants came from different urban poor groups in Quezon City, Manila, Caloocan City, Makati, Antipolo City, Bulacan, Las Piñas, Malabon and Marikina.
The participants are leaders of the Lakas at Ugnayan ng mga Maralita Laban sa Kahirapan (LUMABAN Ka), an alliance being formed to campaign on housing rights through active participation in local governance. LUMABAN Ka aims to have its founding assembly on first week of December 2007, in time for the commemoration of Urban Poor week in the Philippines.
The participants said that the seminar was a great help for them to further advance their struggle for a just and adequate housing. Before the end of the seminar, the participants agreed to create a pool of paralegal to be composed by themselves to help each other in dealing with their problems through regular cliniquing and legal tactics session.
CPE Executive Director Edwin Chavez also challenged the participants on converting knowledge into action. The knowledge learnt in the seminar should translate into concrete actions by the various associations in ensuring a just and humane housing. He also challenged LUMABAN Ka to identify issues to be taken as legislative agenda. Formation of local housing boards and participation into it is also a possible course of advocacy that can hasten participatory framework planning and implementation of housing programs in each local government units.
The seminar ended by distributing certificates of attendance to the participants. Ms. Vilma Icoy also presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Saligan-Urban Poor Unit for its invaluable support extended to LUMABAN Ka and CPE.