[ manilastandardtoday.com ] February 3, 2010
President Gloria Arroyo has cancelled two directives relocating squatters in Lupang Arenda in Taytay and at the Manggahan floodway to move out some 100,000 families whose houses are blocking waterways linked to Laguna de Bay.
Under Executive Order 854, Mrs. Arroyo formed a task force led by the Department of Public Works and Highways to restore the Napindan Channel leading to the Pasig River.
“The recent strong typhoons (Ondoy and Pepeng) and the consequent flooding endangered the lives and damaged the properties of the people living in these sites. There is an urgency to address flooding in Metro Manila by removing obstructions and rehabilitating waterways,” she said.
Proclamation 704 of former President Fidel Ramos reserved for squatters Lupang Arenda in Sitio Tapayan, Taytay, Rizal.
Proclamation 1160 of Mrs. Arroyo set aside in 2006 20 parcels of land at the Manggahan weir as site of medium-rise low-cost housing for about 6,700 urban poor families from Rizal.
Also in the task force are Metro Manila Development Authority, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, National Housing Authority, Laguna Lake Development Authority, and the local governments of Rizal, Pasig, Cainta and Taytay as members.
“Residents of the areas affected by the revocation of the proclamations who have already been censused or awarded certificates of lot awards will be given priority in the selection of beneficiaries in the relocation program,” Mrs. Arroyo said.
She said the evicted families would have access to employment and basic services.
“The LLDA and the concerned LGUs shall also exercise their power to prosecute professional squatters or members of any squatting syndicate who will occupy the cleared areas.”
The DPWH and the MMDA were ordered to spruce up the channel, floodway and river and “beautify the berm and banks by building waterfronts, greenbelts and parks.” Joyce Pangco Pañares