As I See It

Squatting problem getting out of control


The squatting problem is getting out of control.

Even the government, at national and local levels, seems powerless against them. Or more accurately, is not willing to get the ire of squatters by relocating them. Reason: Squatters are voters. And squatters usually vote as a block. They vote for whomever their leaders choose. And with barangay elections coming up, it would be even more difficult for barangay officials to muster the courage and the will power to eject squatters. In fact, some of these local officials are the very same people who brought in squatters to vote for them. Some barangay officials (and even councilors, mayors and congressmen) protect certain squatter colonies because they consider these their bailiwicks.

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II recently warned local government officials, from mayors to barangay (village) captains: Remove squatters from danger zones between now and the barangay elections or face prosecution. How much this warning will prod local executives into action remains to be seen.

Indeed, this is the best time to eject squatters because the senatorial and local elections are over, and so candidates need not fear the squatter backlash. But the barangay elections are coming up, and barangay officials, much more than the higher-level LGU officials, are dependent on squatter votes.

The Quezon City government has given squatters two months to move out or …. Seriously, if Quezon City Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista can remove the squatters in two months, I will put his picture on the family altar and sing “alleluia” to it every single day.

* * *

Similarly, residents of Filinvest 1 Village say they would do the same thing if Mayor Bistek will remove, not the squatter colony, but even just the double-parking on the private road leading to the village.

The road, Filinvest Road 1, which runs at right angles to Batasan Road near the Sandiganbayan and leads to Filinvest Village a few hundred meters in the interior, is a private road. A three-lane paved street, it was built on private land by the developer, Filinvest, to service the homeowners of the subdivision.

But like parasites, squatters occupied the lots on both sides of the road. Not content with that, they put up stores and shops alongside the road itself. Naturally, shoppers and suppliers park before the shops on both sides of the road, leaving very little space for vehicles going to Filinvest to squeeze through.

Besides the shoppers, the squatters themselves park their own vehicles—thus giving the lie to the notion that all squatters are poor. These squatters own vehicles, stores and shops, television sets, refrigerators, stereo sets, computers, and other expensive home appliances, yet they pay no rent to the owners of the lots they are squatting on, or real estate taxes, or business taxes to the city government, or income taxes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue. And the bleeding hearts still call them “poor”?

After receiving many complaints from residents about the perennial traffic jams on the road going to their homes—a road built and owned by Filinvest, but which squatters have appropriated for themselves—the barangay issued a resolution limiting parallel parking on Filinvest Road 1 (as well as other roads nearby) to only one side—in other words, no double-parking.

There is a sign at the entrance to the road: “One side parking only.” But vehicles still park on both sides. Worse, vehicles now park diagonally—no longer parallel—perhaps to accommodate more vehicles of the squatters. (The barangay resolution does not permit diagonal parking.) Result: Only one lane is left open to vehicles going home to Filinvest, resulting in traffic jams on the road. Which makes village owners very angry.

Legally, Filinvest Road 1 is not a public road. It is a private road on privately titled land constructed by Filinvest for village residents. Therefore, the Filinvest Homeowners’ Association should have control over it and its security guards should direct traffic there. But barangay officials have usurped this function and are very lenient with squatters because of their votes.

As I see it, City Hall should return control of Filinvest Road 1 to the homeowners’ association. The barangay, City Hall, and the Metro Manila Development Authority which claims jurisdiction over all traffic in Metro Manila, should give support in managing the traffic, but the decisions should still be made by the owners, the Filinvest homeowners, through its association.

Look at it this way: The homeowners pay the real estate taxes—in Quezon City, the highest in the whole country—as well as many other taxes. These taxes pay the salaries and allowances of all City Hall and barangay officials, as well as for all city assistance extended to squatters and other city expenses made for squatters. On the opposite end, the squatters pay almost no direct taxes (real estate tax, business tax, income tax, etc.). Worse, they are lawbreakers, technically stealing properties owned by others. So why do they have more rights than the law-abiding, tax-paying citizens?

* * *

Here’s news for fans of Willie Nepomuceno, the master mimic, impersonator and comedian: Willie will be featured tonight, starting at 8:30, on Channel News Asia (Cable TV 82 in Manila), in the series “Conversation With…”

CNA producer Maria Ronald said Willie Nep’s “frighteningly accurate portrayal of politicians and pop stars, which has entertained Filipinos for three decades, does more than amuse his audience. It gives them a view.”

In the interview, Willie said he believes his impersonations “represent the common man’s fight against authority, and that’s the reason he considers comedy a serious business.”

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • JLFS

    Dapat magpasa ng batas – kriminal ang squatting. And barangay/city officials who condone them are hailed for protecting criminals.

  • eight_log

    Squatting problem has always been out of control!!!! Ngayon ano ang gagawin para matigil na ang ganito???? Gawing responsibilidad ng mga local officials ang paglinis ng kanikanilang bakuran …. dito ngayon masubukan si Mar … Sana maipakita ni Mar ang resolve niya sa issue na eto … nakasalalay ang posibilidad ng kanyang panalo sa sunod na election dito!!!!!!!!

  • marcelo_4161

    bakit sa lugar ni lina daldalhin, sana basahin mo lahat ng provision nong lina law. kung nasunod yon wala ng squatters. paki basa please.

  • Ako_Hiking

    The squatting problem is already out of control and the Aquino Administration has yet to even really do anything significant about yet. Sure they themselves remind people that it is a major problem but people do not need to be reminded of it because they already know…what the Aquino Administration needs to do is to do something about the problem already.

  • Alfie Anido

    Naisip ko lang. Bakit di nalang natin ibalik ang advocacy ni Margaret Sanger? I’m talking about free vaccination with a twist. Nuong panahon ni Margaret Sanger at ng then accepted science of Eugenics, there was a government practice of forced sterilization which targeted certain demographics ie. the urban poor. The government managed to pull it off by disguising it under free vaccination, but the truth was, what was being injected was sterilization serum. This way, you control unwanted population growth of unwanted forms of peoples. “Libre bakuna galing kay Konsehal”

    I’m just saying……

    • Sarcastic Iskwater

      Hahaha Sieg Heil!

    • ajca82

      If we’re going to do eugenics, I think actually enforcing the law is cheaper.

      Man gets hit while crossing C5? Man’s fault, driver’s innocent, no “awa” court decisions.
      People get washed away by floods or their settlement burned down? Their fault, government’s free of any responsibility.
      Thief caught? Put them in jail, the state should file a case in place of the victim if he/she does not do it.
      Squatters to be resettled? Prepare the resettlement area and move them there, dismantle or even burn the illegal structures afterwards.

      Sounds tough but that’s actually what they do in other countries. We’re too nice for our own good and some less than decent people are definitely taking advantage of this.

    • AlzheimersC

      Who knows bakit maraming mayayaman ang nagiging sterile at hindi magkaanak…kasi hindi natin alam…ang infant formulas na ininom nila or mga vitamins e laden with sterilizing serums.

      And they pay to have it… :) That’s how third world brain got it…

  • lukecowboy

    the comelec must approved our party ang mga magnanakaw party kinakatawan po namin ang lahat ng mga magnanakaw sa atin bansa kasi legal po ang mag nakaw ng million mllion pag congresta ka o senator kana wala pang arrest lang o wheelchair ka lang pag pupunta ka sa korte may escort ka pa. kaya dapat approbahan na ng comelec ang amin hiling. MABUHAY ANG MAGNANAKAW PARTY LIST GROUP.kaya nga dapat approve na itong party list nagmagnanakaw para mawala na sa mapa ang pilipinas

  • certainshadeofgreen

    Perhaps we could create a law preventing illegal settlers from voting, in order to prevent candidates from taking advantage of them during elections. I mean, technically we shouldn’t even deem them citizens if they’re not settled legally in the first place.

    • AlzheimersC

      Magpatayo ka ng sarili mong Kongreso at ipasa ang tarantado mong batas…

      Nag-aral ka pa naman pero bakit ganyan kakitid ang utak nyo?

      • certainshadeofgreen

        Pakisabi na lang po nang maayos kung bakit katarantaduhan yung kinomment ko (lalo na’t spur-of-the-moment thought processing lang yung ginawa ko kanina). Marunong naman akong makinig ka opinyong kumukontra sa opinyon ko, basta’t makita ko nang maayos yung argumento mo.

      • AlzheimersC

        So sa tingin mo dahil nabibili ang boto ng mga mahihirap e hindi na sila marunong pumili ng matinong politiko?

        You see kung makagawa ang gobyerno ng isang matinong community malamang hindi na magiging hostage ang mga ito ng kahirapan pero sa ngayon “walang masamang tinapay sa mga taong nagugutom na”

        Besides napakarami ng mga botante na iskwater…so sa tingin mo ilang libo o milyon kaya ang kokontra sa panukala na ganito?

        Besides nagawa ng nakakarami na iboto si Pnoy…mayroon pa kayang mas sincere na manungkulan sa ngayon?

        Public office is a public trust so saan natin ILULUGAR ang TRUST natin kung hindi muna natin pagtiwalaan ang HULING ibinoto ng mga mamamayan? Kung saan ang majority ay ang isinusuka mong mga taga-squatter?

      • certainshadeofgreen

        Hindi naman sa nag-oovergeneralize na hindi marunong bumoto ang mga taga-squatter. I guess yung punto ko lang eh dapat mas strikto yung gobyerno sa pag-settle sa lupang hindi pagmamay-ari. May legal consequence rin sana dapat yung pagiging squatter (which is probably the more humane sanction than totally eradicating them, lalo na’t wala rin naman silang paglilipatan). Pero ewan ko rin kung matino ngang solusyon yun. Sobrang komplikado yung squatter problem natin eh na ang hirap talagang ma-eradicate sa isang solusyon, lalo na’t naka-embed na siya sa sistema natin.

      • AlzheimersC

        “Sobrang komplikado yung squatter problem natin eh na ang hirap talagang ma-eradicate sa isang solusyon, lalo na’t naka-embed na siya sa sistema natin.”

        Kaya unahin muna ang mga squatter sa mga estero(which is kargo ng gobyerno) at hayaan mo muna ang mga landowner na may mga squatter sa kanyang lupain na gumawa ng mga sarili nilang hakbang…may pera ang mga iyan o may inpluwensiya para mag-lobby sa pag-repeal or amend/water down ng Lina Law…

        Iyong may maliit na lupa na hindi kayang magbigay ng privileges sa mga paalisin niya sa kanyang lupa e dapat absuelto na.

      • Alfie Anido

        Uyyyy, may mahirap, naaantig ang damdamin. Parang liberation theologian sa Negros the bleeding hearts of d poor, ekspluyted and d upreest. Well cguro ganyan din kadamihan s atin na educated and indoctrinated by conflict theorist. Ang mga mahihirap ay dapat kalingain at arugain dahil cla lang anak ng mga diyos. Why dont we prioritize free housing for everybody, freebies for one and all. To hell with initiative and free will. Mabuhay si Mong Palatino El Supremo ng Kadyouth! Ang Kapisanan ng mga Anak ni Diego! Tumatayo, lumalaban, KADYUT NG BAYAN! ( sabay pelvic thrust)

      • AlzheimersC

        So paano mo mapipigilan ang walang patumanggang atras abante pero iresponsable sa magiging resulta nito?

        Ang mangutya? Ba’t magaling ka ba pagdating dyan? Baka porma lang ang kaya mo?

      • Alfie Anido

        Mag-aatras abante kami ni Mong Palatino nang pag-K.A.D. youth!

  • Ren-ren

    Yung iba naghahanap ng trabaho para makapagbayad sa rent ng bahay. Ito namang mga illegal settlers, binibigyan na ng lupa at bahay, gusto pa pati trabaho. Manu bang dumiskarte naman at magsari-sarili naman ng konti.

    • AlzheimersC

      Wala akong nababasa sa taas na pati trabaho ay obligado ang gov’t na bigyan ang ililipat na mga taga estero…
      Bahay lang na malilipatan pero “malapit sa pinagkakakitaan nila”

      Intindihin mo ng mabuti ang binabasa mo…

      • nakawan

        AlzheimersC squatter! Kelangan barilin yung mga magnanakaw na katulad mo!

      • AlzheimersC

        Maniwala ka o hindi, against ako sa squatting.

      • Manga Gamud

        Ang alam ko ang Alzheimers ay isang sakit sa utak na nakukuha sa laging pakikinig kay Renato Reyes.

      • AlzheimersC

        Ikaw pala ang nakikinig kay Renato Reyes…Bakit mo kilala aber? haha gunggong!

      • nakawan

        judging from your posts on this thread, di ako naniniwala sa yo

      • AlzheimersC

        Pakialam ko? Hirap ka na ba sa propaganda nyong mga komunista? Pag-igihan mo na lang ang pagsusulat mo.

      • nakawan

        Haha! Komunista? Hanggang name-calling ka na lang ba? Alam bo ibig sabihin ng komunista hijo? Kawawa naman si toto…

      • nakawan

        Squatter na, bobo pa. Bakla!

      • AlzheimersC

        Eto ang klase ng nakakaintindi ng name calling… :)

      • Ren-ren

        Sorry ha. Hindi lang kasi ang above article ang binasa ko tungkol sa issue na’to e. And besides, ganun din naman yun ah! Sila na yung illegal yung tinitirhan, sila pa yung may gana magdemand from the gov’t. Pero yung mga sa legal na places nakatira, pagwalang pambayad sa rent, makikiusap sa landlord, magtitipid ng katakut-takot, o lilipat nalang sa mas maliit o mas inconvenient na lugar.

      • AlzheimersC

        Of course hindi lahat mapagbibigyan ng gobyerno…so, saan o kailan o sino ang dapat unahin ng gobyerno para mabawasan ang kahirapan ng bansa kung pagsabay-sabayin nito lahat ng dapat tulungan?

        Kung ikaw ang naatasan na bawasan ang kahirapan ng bansa, saan mo gustong magsimula aber?

      • Ren-ren

        Ang point ko ay kung kaya ng ibang lower class na magtrabaho at magtipid para makapag-rent sa legal na paraan, kaya rin ng mga squatters. Kaso nga, binigyan na ng resettlement area, ibebenta lang nila kasi wala daw trabaho sa probinsya. Mano bang dumiskarte nalang sila dun at magbanat ng buto. Gusto pa iaabot sakanila. Hindi lang sila ang tax payers ng Pilipinas. Majority ng working class pinapawisan sa MRT or binabaha sa daan or magbabayad ng malaki pagna-ospital dahil hindi qualified sa mga palibre programs. So unfair.

      • AlzheimersC

        Para kang ogag! e di huwag na lang gumawa ng paraan ang gobyerno at magkanya-kanya na lang tayo…

        Pero huwag kang magtaka kung bakit marami ang hindi makaahon sa kahirapan…antayin mo na lang ang milagro baka sakaling magbago nga ang mga taong ito kahit mga wala silang trabaho o mga pag-aari/edukasyon na pwede nilang pakinabangan para mabuhay…

        Puro ka unfair, para kang bata na kung bigyan ang isa dapat bigyan ka rin…

      • Ren-ren

        Ahh… Isa ka pala sa mga taong ang tingin sa gobyerno ay Wowowee or Wish Ko Lang. Okay, clear na. Ayoko na makipagargue. End of conversation.

      • AlzheimersC

        Hindi ABS-CBN or GMA network ang makikinabang dito kung gumanda ang buhay ng mga ito kungdi ang gobyerno rin…kung magagawa nitong muling “gumaling” at tumayo ang mga taga estero sa kanilang mga paa sa pagbibigay ng panibagong “puhunan” o pagkakataon para maging productive member ng ating sosyedad…

        Baka sa susunod e IKAW naman ang mapagbigyan…mukhang timawa ka rin kasi…

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks

May 23, 2015

Tough guy

May 22, 2015

China versus Edca