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Examining Urban Poor Voices: Displacement and Resettlement of Informal Settlers in Metro Manila

Rhea Maningo

Abstract

The study investigates the politics surrounding the development induced displacement and resettlement (DIDR) of the urban informal settlers in the Philippines, following the government’s implementation of its flood management program after Typhoon Ondoy had brought destruction to the country in 2009. While previous literature has clarified the structural marginalization of the urban poor under neoliberalism and their organized struggle against the situation in the city, this study examines their individual agency in an informal settler community along Manggahan Floodway in Pasig City in response to their forced eviction and resettlement. Through an ethnographic study, I argue that: (1) despite the threat of eviction in the Manggahan Floodway community, the informal settlers responded differently to DIDR according to the impact of eviction threats to their family’s well-being (material and nonmaterial) and social capital; (2) the urban poor who relocated themselves maintained amicable relationships despite their disagreement and antagonism over different strategies for housing; and (3) those who opted for in-city housing tacitly negotiated the community regulations that aimed to transform them into “good and responsible citizens” and produce new urban informality.

Keywords

eviction; informal settler; resettlement; urban poor; well-being

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