21% of Metro Manila residents are squatters

If the report of the Metro Manila Inter-Agency Committee on Informal Settlers (MMIAC) is to be believed, one out of every five residents in Metro Manila is a squatter.
The Inquirer quoted a report of the MMIAC saying that there are more than 544,609 households of informal settlers in Metro Manila, representing 21% of the total 2.6 million households population.
Shelter program for squatters
The MMIAC is a committee tasked by Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2007 to provide a shelter program to squatters or informal settlers.
It is composed of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), National Housing Authority (NHA), local government units, the Urban Poor Affairs Office, Housing and Urban Development and Coordinating Council, Presidential Commission on Urban Poor, Office of the Undersecretary for Religious Affairs, Commission on Human rights, Caritas Manila representing the Catholic Church, and other government agencies.
Socialized housing in resettlement areas
According to the MMIAC, the Philippine government would need around P3.2 billion every year for the next 10 years to provide socialized housing units to informal settlers.
The government has already started offering off-site, off-city resettlement areas where squatters are relocated and provided with their own house and lot properties. The government initially covers the costs and recovers these through cheap monthly amortization ranging from P300 to P1,000.
The squatters problem in the Philippines has been a perennial problem since time immemorial. How do you think this can be solved?
Survey: What should the Philippine government do regarding squatting?
Answer our survey question below or post a comment to explain your answer. Who knows, if someone from the government sees your suggestions, they might implement it and hopefully this can help solve the problem of squatting in the country.
[poll id=”2″]

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15 thoughts on “21% of Metro Manila residents are squatters”

  1. Aside from electing BF, I would also suggest that there really be a sustained campaign to teach financial literacy at the grassroots level… give everyone a fighting chance to have the means to acquire their own homes…
    .-= Jay Castillo´s latest blog ..My Dad is a broke OFW (An open letter to all OFW’s) =-.

  2. I agree with sir Jay, it all must start in the grassroots. Teach them how to be financially stable so that they can support themselves when they are relocated to another place. If the government can provide them jobs, well and good. Just like what Roosevelt did during the Great Depression, the govt may hire them and give them jobs on improving infrustructures and roads, for example.
    .-= CarloBlogg Online 3.0´s latest blog ..Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns for the Halloween season. =-.

  3. that seems to be a good idea but unfortunately, our government wouldn’t do that because instead of paying those people to work, they’d just put the money into their pockets and give those financially poor people some of their loose change. and besides, election is drawing near, so I think giving instant alms or cash would be most beneficial to their(Govt) agenda. anyway, most of the Filipino nowadays always opt for easy money/easy living, specially those in the poor brackets, that’s why robbery, hold up, and all sorts of crimes related to poverty is so rampant these days In my Humble opinion.

  4. we have to adopt the singaporean or hongkong model, the government in conjunction with LGUs and private corporation must build urban low cost housng for low income and low middle income families. local govt must provide 10 to 15 percent of their land to mass or public housing. how? by clearing old communities especially where historical landmarks are not situated. the govt can build medium to high rise apartment complexes, where lands that have been saved from clearing operations cn be devoted to green areas areas, parks, playgrounds, parking complexes, schools, police or fire stations and remaining land can be leased or sold to private companies or business such as 7/11, Mcdonalds, gas statons, amusement parks, supermarket or malls.
    this is urban renewal block by block.
    we should be aware that the growing problem of housing is directly related to the growing work force in manila.
    not all squatters are squatters, a good number of workers live in these slum communities because there is not enough housing facilities in manila – they become bed spacers, dorm dwellers, room for renters or “taga-silong”
    look at hongkong and singapore, urban workers live within walking distance of their work place. therefore, they dont have to use  their vehicles, hire a taxi or use mass transport and contribute to traffic congestion.
    the benefits of urban renewal is numerous, water and electrical distribution is rationalized and monitored closely, garbage collection is systematized, basic falicilites like schools or police stations are within 5-10 minutes, crime  is prevented because there are few hiding places and apartment dwellers are registered.
    working individuals can now within walking distance from their jobs, supermarket, church, clinics, schools, etc. they have more time to rest and spend more recreation time for themselves and their families.
    this ca be replicated in the whole country and a systematic apartment exchange can be established wherein two individuals can swap apartment if they need to move to for a new job or life situation.
    in tokyo and other areas in japan, old communities are torn down to build housing facilites and reinvigorate the community by putting up modern facilites promoting businesses to be establish in that community.
    mass housing is the key to urban renewal and pushing the country to become a developed nation.

  5. Immediate concerns to address squatting in metro manila: 1) support households who wish to return to their provinces of origin; 2) strict unwavering enforcement of clearance of dwellings & relocation of informal settlers located along waterways, roads/sidewalks, hazard areas etc; 3) clearcut policy of national govt & local governments on urban planning/land use/zoning regulations and their strict enforcement; 4) fast track implementation of development plans re infrastructure, facilities, utilities, other support services/enabling environment for private sector to locate industries to major urban centers outside of metro manila; 5) national govt to provide the same advantages/ benefits/incentives for labor in metro manila and urban centers throughout the country (e.g., uniform/standard minimum wages & benefits etc) to mitigate the pull factors of migration of unskilled labor to the metropolis; 6) government to clearly formulate & implement policies on balance urban & rural development; 7) govt to be forthright & acknowledge its “do nothing” stance & de facto social welfare policy if it cannot muster enough political will to level with its political base constituted by its large constituency of squatters/informal settlers.

  6. My dream retirement is to hardly ever need to deal with the cold of winter or heat of summer. An A-Frame in Vermont plus a cottage by the sea near Savannah.

  7. Given the overcrowding of Manila and the regional differences of our country, Duterte should push through with the federalization of our country, although maybe regions that contribute less than 5% of the country’s GDP should still be fully dependent on the capital til they could grow and sustain their economies. Then the government should support the emigration out of Manila, like what Elaine said, by going through with the current maintenance and expansion of our highways and train systems. The remaining squatter should be given free housing maybe through revitalizing abandoned buildings, using prison laborers to make high rises (and subsequently give the MMDA engineers better salary or more power in their workplace), give incentives for landowners to welcome squatters with no charge, and others. It is apparent that low-cost housing is not enough to make a big change in our urban landscape so free housing may be the best option currently (that and universal basic income but that may be too radical).


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