PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte says he will not allow the demolition of squatter shanties if there is no available relocation site for their residents.
“During my time [as mayor of Davao City], there would be no demolition without relocation,” Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang on Sunday during the fellowship dinner for the graduates of the San Beda College of Law in 1971 and 1972.
“Kasi kung walang mapuntahan, sirain mo ang bahay… ano parang aso? Eh saan pupunta yung mga tao? Where will they find another shelter?” Duterte said.
He recently reorganized 12 line agencies under the helm of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco to respond to the administration’s anti-poverty initiatives—including the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council under Vice President Leni Robredo—to address housing concerns particularly in the urban areas.
Duterte said his administration would ensure sustainable relocation initiatives for squatters who will be affected by the government’s development efforts.
He likewise vowed to raise funds to ensure their welfare.
“I would be very generous to them. I’d look for money,” Duterte said.
Data from the HUDCC in 2012 showed that more than a third of all Filipinos could not afford proper shelter, with more than 3.1 million squatter families living in Metro Manila alone.
Some 23 percent stay in government land, 22 percent in private properties, 15 percent in danger zones including the streets, bridges, riversides and along railroad tracks, and less than 40 percent on infrastructure sites.