TOWERVILLE, San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan — Every day, around lunch time, hungry mothers and children hang around Nazaria Castillo’s carinderia in the hope of getting food. Castillo knows they have no money, and so she herds them inside her store and feeds them whatever humble meal she is selling that day.
IMAGINE uprooting 40,000 families — twice the entire population of the municipality of San Juan, Metro Manila — and relocating them elsewhere.
By any stretch of the imagination, this would be a logistical and sociological nightmare. The financial cost alone would also be staggering. This is exactly what is happening in the government program to relocate those who will be displaced by the North Rail Project. The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) estimates that the government needs to shell out at least P6.6 billion in resettlement costs, but it is not clear where this money is going to come from.
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