Blast Informal Settlers

“I just received instructions from the President that if push comes to shove, we will have to blast these houses.” – DPWH Sec Rogelio Singson.

Singson said there are some 125,000 families currently living along Metro Manila waterways, and at least 70,000 more living in flood-prone areas around Laguna de Bay.

“Obviously, (relocation) needs very strong political will,” Singson said. “Local government units should not allow families from taking residence in (or along) waterways within their jurisdiction.”

Parang pokemon? Blastoise Hydro Cannon!!!

Make Bayani Fernando in charge of blasting these obstructions. He never hesitates being tough. We should use our military units for blasting exercises since magandang practice laban sa China at mga rebelde.

Makatarungan nga ba to “blast” them? Though they may not literally mean it, these informal settlers near metro rivers have the most contribution of waste ( pinakamaraming kontribusyon ng basura). Ang masakit pa nito, sa kanlia rin napupunta ang malaking atensyon at pondo ng gobyerno pagdating sa mga pagbaha sa Metro Manila.

“Blast” is a strong word like blow-up, detonate, explode, discharge. They should have just used the word demolish instead like bulldoze, tear-down, pull-down, knock-down, flatten. Be careful with the words you use, you might be mis-interpreted. A piece of advice.

It’s a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation. If he doesn’t do anything and these people die in the next calamity, they’ll blame him for it. If he tries to move them, forcibly or otherwise, and manages to actually do it, and then demolish their homes to make room for waterways, he’ll be blamed for uprooting them from where they live and destroying homes.

Blasting them now so they would go away is better than seeing their houses being carried away by the current, no doubt. Full blast dapat, hindi verbal lang…yung walang matira ni pako para di na makapagtayo ng bahay sa estero. What I’m saying is, it’s better to have a soaked shelter to return to instead of having your home completely destroyed by the raging rivers.

Kinukunsinti kasi ng mga lokal na opisyal ang mga yan dahil dagdag sa boto. Dapat isabatas ang pagbabawal sa pagboto ng mga nakatira sa mga danger zones. Tingnan natin kung kanlungin pa ng mga opisyal ang mga yan. And once this is settled, the local officials who are only using this illegal settlers for votes during the elections should be sacked as well. These inept and greedy politicians were also a part of the problem why the influx of these illegal settlers went out of hand in their area of responsibility; especially near the waterways.

I agree with the President on this one besides they should not be there on the first place… but he should also (for the last time) give the basic necessities needed otherwise things will just worsted the situations for the settlers. Just be sure that these families will receive a just compensation from the government para hindi sila gamitin ng mga oportunistang politiko at ng mga militanteng komunista. Relocate them with sustainability in mind……. build a community similar to a “kibbutz”.

The kibbutz (Hebrew word for “communal settlement”) is a unique rural community; a society dedicated to mutual aid and social justice; a socioeconomic system based on the principle of joint ownership of property, equality and cooperation of production, consumption and education; the fulfillment of the idea “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” (Jewish Virtual Library).

Now YOU are talking PNOY! Act like a President! Do it no matter who gets hurt now! Better hurt some who are wrongdoers anyway than be sorry for the whole of Metro Manila and the whole country! They should have done this after Ondoy, not when it was repeated by the monsoon rains. It seems they really do not learn from the past.

It is a good move. Tama lang yan dahil kung papabayaan natin na ganyan na lang taon-taon tuwing tag-ulan ay walang mangyayari sa atin. Political Will talaga ang kailangan and I think the time is now! Noon pa problema yan eh. Dahil sa awa kaya ayun lumala na ng lumala. Though “their misfortunes were the revolting results of the greediness of the ruling class, the privileged few controlling the national economy and politics to the detriment of the wretched of the earth” as Franz Fanon puts it. But that is a different story.

Sigurado ako, unang papalag dito ang Commission on Human Rights (CHR). When I was in college, our professor gave us a case study tungkol sa mga problema sa housing sa metro manila. Illegal settlers ang napili kong pag-aralan. Pangunahing dahilan kaya lumubo ang mga squatter dahil sa kapabayaan ng awtoridad. Hinayaan lang ang mga tao na magtayo ng bahay sa lupang di nila pag-aari. Tsaka nila poproblemahin pagka marami na at kelangan na nila ang lupa.

My recommendations for that case was study was: Paigtingin ang implementation ng anti-squatting law. Sa una pa lang, pagbawalan na ang magtatayo ng bahay sa lupang di niya pag-aari kung walang kaukulang pahintulot sa may ari. Kahit isang bahay pa lang ‘yan, i-demolish na agad para wag na dumami. (napaka-brutal ko ano hehe). And my professor said “commission on human rights ang makakalaban mo iho”. At sa nakikita ko ngayon, I think may tama ako… este tama ako. Ngayon nila pino-problema dahil naparami na nila. Let’s wait and see kung gaano sila ka “brutal” kagaya ng naiisip ko dati.

Tingnan natin kung may bayag, ay political will pala, sorry. Let’s see the government “blast” the residents of Provident Village. tabing ilog yun di ba? Bakit hindi na lang alisin ang siltation along the floodways, gaya ng ginagawa noon, to keep the system’s waterflow moving? The Manggahan Floodway is apparently only 3ft deep now, due to the accumulated siltation. Bakit hindi yun nalilinis? Di ba may budget naman lagi para doon? They can’t deny it, because Marikina’s Vice Mayor Cadiz himself went there, stood in the water, and was shocked!  

Oo, patayin na yang mga illegal settlers na yan. Sila ang problema. Tapos gagawin nating mga condominium at i-develop yang mga area na yan. Huwag rin nating pigilan ang mining at ang mga loggers doon sa kabundukan. Wasakin na ang buong Pilipinas. Mahihirap lang ang problema natin. Ok lang pag multi-national companies ang magdedevelop kahit sagabal sa buhay at kalikasan – Ok lang! CLEAN the ENVIRONMENT, LET’S KILL the POOR! – sarcasm!

Nakakagalit itong mga middle class elitists. Ang kakapal ng mukha kung makapuna sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan. Pinili ba nilang hindi magkaroon ng access sa sanitary facilities? Pinili ba nila na hindi magkaroon ng nakasasapat na sahod at rekurso para makakuha ng tirahan malayo sa mga estero? Lintek lang ang pagiging makasarili ninyo!

Ang makataong inisyal na reaksyon: ilipat niyo dapat ang mga mamamayan sa tirahang may dignidad at malapit sa kabuhayan! Hindi: good job! Sige pasabugin na yan! Para kayong mga demonyo kung makakondena ng mga may-aba sa impyerno! Hayop!

Do we now see how our president really thinks and works? Parang nagpalipat lang ng mga aso sa kalye ano? Parang nagpasabog lang ng dinamita sa dagat ano? Culture of violence yan. Kasi wag mag DOTA nang magDOTA para hindi nagiging violenteng tao.

“Blast” Aquino out of Malacañan instead of poor families’ houses, says youth group.

“We knew his blame game would lead to this. Statement after statement he has pointed to the victims ‘hard-headedness’ to cover-up his administrations gross neglect and inability to prevent this calamity. The impact of the heavy rains could have been minimized had the government acted upon the bitter lessons of the Ondoy flood. But clearly they have not. Disaster preparedness is still in the least of their priority as revealed in the failed evacuation schemes and shortness of supplies for relief,” said Anakbayan NCR Secretary-General Dianne Solmayor.

The group also pointed-out the government’s campaign of attracting foreign large-scale mining corporations albeit these firms are to blame for the continued deforestation of our mountainous areas.

“After that shameless parade and relief distribution gimmick he has now revealed face and has shown his utter disgust for the poor,” said Solmayor. “The victims are now on a double-whammy as they have to face this imminent great threat the government is to throw upon them,”.

“Surely these poor families should not live on dangerous areas, but the problem is the government cannot ensure them of transfer to more decent and safer housing. The case of the relocation sites in Rodriguez, Rizal and Kasiglahan Village also in the same province proves this fact. These families would just be shoved from one danger zone to another. In the first place, these families would not have been living there if they had a choice. But poverty and landlessness push them to risk living in these places.”.

If there is one thing Aquino should do now is to start drafting a comprehensive pro-people disaster preparedness plan, one that does not involve the displacement of thousands of families and the destruction of their homes. And to quote Public Works Sec. Singson, “this obviously needs political will”.

“If he continues this blame game and his plan of massive demolition then his ‘bosses’ would gladly blast him out of Malacañan,” ended Solmayor.

“Blast their homes if necessary”? This will not produce anything good and this is not necessary. Many associations of informal settlers living along waterways have submitted their resettlement plans to DILG and NHA since early this year, for consideration under the the P10 billion shelter program for 2012 (the total target is P50 billion over 5 years).

Many other settlers associations are in the process of preparing their “people’s proposals” for resettlement. Informal settlers along waterways in Metro Manila, estimated at 104,000 families, are not opposing relocation; they want to avail of it.

It is not them that are causing delays in the implementation of the housing resettlement program. It is the lack of policy coordination between the concerned government agencies that are causing the delay. NHA can build houses, but they cannot be expected to facilitate social organizing and preparation to enable the settlers to participate in the program; without the participation of the settlers, the resettlement program WILL fail.

DILG, which is supposed to coordinate the program, can be expected to remind all agencies to observe the articles of the law pertaining to demolitions and resettlement, but it is not the expert on housing.

DoF has nothing to do with all these, but they should produce firm guidelines how much the government can actually spare in terms of subsidies and loan financing for the settlers. All these have yet to come together into a coherent plan.

In the meantime, the settlers are waiting for clear guidelines, because they want to move as soon as possible.

BUT would this “blasting” of informal settlers really stop the flood waters from once again inundating low-lying areas? Someone commented that if we really want to mitigate the effects of flooding then we need to have Laguna Lake DREDGED! Clear the rivers and the canals as well.

However, no matter how we dredge the lake if the influx of illegal settlers does not stopped, their refuse will forever fill the lake and the problem will only get worse!

But wait – have you been to Kasiglahan Village in Montalban, Rizal? It is no different than being in the urban waterways.

Tanong lang po, saan namang relocation site ninyo itatambak ang mga tao eh kung yung mismong sa bulubunduking Rizal ay binaha din nitong nakaraang pagbaha? Di ba mas magaling ang balik probinsya na lang para madecongest ang Metro Manila?

BLAME THE VICTIMS

For stubbornly insisting
on calling the rivers
and waterways their homes,
blame them for their misfortunes!

For being subjected
to flood waters as high as houses,
and being stripped off their
worldly belongings,

scores lost their lives,
as incessant rains poured
from the heavens for weeks on end,
blame them for their misfortunes!

For refusing
to be ‘rescued’ from their inundated houses
only to be hauled to pigsties they call
‘evacuation centers’ ,
blame them for their misfortunes!

For having to line up for hours,
clothes wet and ankle deep in muck and mud,
for food and water rations courtesy
of shameless and vote hungry politicians,
blame them for their misfortunes!

For refusing
to leave their houses,
the roof above their heads,
however deplorable and dangerous;

for insisting to hang on to their homes
because society failed to provide them
with this very basic human necessity,
blast their houses if necessary,

then blame them for their misfortunes!

*poem credits to Mac Ramirez

About pinoytekkie

News from the Philippines
This entry was posted in Current Events, Government, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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