Manila to relocate 100,000 squatters from waterways
AFPMANILA -- The Philippine government plans to move about 100,000 squatters from their homes on crucial waterways in Manila by June as a flood control measure and for their own safety, an official said Saturday.
January 13, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
The plan is to clear six major waterways in the sprawling capital before typhoon season starts in June, while also saving the squatters from being washed away by floods, said Interior Undersecretary Francisco Fernandez.
Experts have long warned that flooding in Manila has been worsened by the squatter communities who build precarious shanties on the banks of waterways, preventing water from flowing freely and blocking drains with rubbish.
Fernandez said there were an estimated 105,000 squatter families living on the waterways of the capital. The 20,000 families — representing about 100,000 people — living in the six major waterways would be the first to be moved.
“Forced evacuations will only be taken as a last resort,” said Fernandez, whose office is in charge of informal settlers.