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As I See It

Too many condos for the rich but none for the poor

By

Isn’t it ironic that with all the gleaming high-rise condominium buildings mushrooming all over the urban areas, there is no housing for poor squatters? Everything is for the rich.

Isn’t it possible to compel land developers, through legislation or rules, or by appealing to their social conscience, to construct medium-rise, affordable housing for poor squatters for every tall condo building that they build for the rich? Let us say that for every 100 costly condos for the rich, the developer will build 10 to 20 units (that’s only 10-20 percent) for the squatters nearby, not in some faraway, godforsaken place.

Squatters resist relocation because the sites are in some remote province where land is still cheap, where they will have no jobs, no water and electric connections, no schools for their children, etc. They will be so far from their means of livelihood in the cities that most of their daily earnings will be used up only for transport. That is why many of them go back to squatting in the cities. If we continue with this, the government will run out of land to award to the homeless but squatting will never disappear. The relocation sites will be sold by the squatters to land speculators, and the squatters will go back to living in shanties or under bridges in the urban areas.

The host communities also resist accepting the squatters because they add to the municipalities’ expenses. Worse, the crime rate in the host communities usually rises, and sanitation usually deteriorates.

The answer, as I see it, is in-city relocation, to medium-rise housing units that will not be sold to the recipient squatters but only rented to them to keep costs as low as possible. That way, land speculation will also be prevented as the squatters cannot sell their rights to their units.

The house help of the condo owners can then come from these medium-rise housing units so they don’t have to be accommodated in the cramped condos.

Great care should be made, however, to award units only to the true homeless squatters, not to the professional squatters and squatting syndicates and land speculators. The latter should be ejected immediately without relocation and prosecuted if they go back to squatting.

The squatting syndicates prey not only on the landowners but also on the squatters themselves, from whom they demand monthly membership fees. These membership fees are never accounted for and simply disappear—into the pockets of the syndicate officers.

Study any squatter colony and you will see that there are stores and shops from which they derive income but for which they pay no rent to the owner of the land they are squatting on. Neither do they pay business taxes to the local governments or income taxes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Visit any squatter colony at the end of the day and you will find their vehicles double-parked on the streets. You will also see TV antennas shooting out of the rooftops and hear soap operas blaring out of their stereo sets. These squatters own vehicles, TV and stereo sets, and other costly home appliances, and we call them “poor” and the bleeding hearts bleed for them?

No government heart bleeds for the poor lot owner whose property has been squatted upon. Local governments collect higher and higher real estate taxes from them but do not protect their properties from squatters. Ask for their help against the squatters and they will give you the runaround. Most of the time, local officials will side with the squatters because of their votes.

There are many urban poor groups and even party-list groups, but none for the poor property owners victimized by squatters. By “property owner,” I am referring not to the hacienda owners or the corporate owners of estates who can take care of themselves, but to the poor teacher, clerk and other lowly employees who paid for their lots in installments, month after month and year after year, only for these to be stolen by squatters. To make matters worse, City Hall raises the realty tax every few years on these properties that only the squatters profit from.

These property owners obey the law and pay the taxes. Their taxes are used to help squatters who have broken the law and victimized them. Does this mean that it pays to be a lawbreaker than to be a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen?

* * *

Mayor Calixto Cataquiz of San Pedro, Laguna, has been suspended from office and Vice Mayor Norvic Solidum is now the acting mayor. But that is a very brief victory for Solidum. On July 1, or just three days from now, Lourdes Cataquiz, the wife of the suspended mayor, will take over as mayor of San Pedro.

Calixto Cataquiz was going to run for his third and final term as mayor but was disqualified by the Commission on Elections because San Pedro was converted into a city last March 27. This is according to his supporters. His opponents, however, claim he was convicted in an administrative case for graft that dates back to 2003, when he was chief of the Laguna Lake Development Authority. The conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Cataquiz was replaced by his wife Lourdes as mayoral candidate in the May elections. Solidum also ran for mayor. Lourdes defeated Solidum by more than 26,000 votes.

Less than a week before his term ends on June 30, Cataquiz was finally suspended and Solidum proclaimed as the acting mayor. On July 1, however, before Solidum has even warmed his seat, the duly elected Lourdes Cataquiz will take over as mayor.

* * *

June 30 is the last day of voting for the Tatt Awards. Please vote for PAWS via Facebook and Twitter. You can vote every hour.


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Tags: column , condos , housing , neal h. cruz , Poor , rich

  • AlzheimersC

    Kung wala ang mga pagbaha kung saan naaabala ang marami sa atin, mga estudyante, trabaho at negosyo pati ang mga libangan natin sa pagliliwaliw…

    SINO ANG MAKAPUPUNA SA MGA TUMITIRA SA MGA ESTERO? Di ba LAHAT naman tayo ay nagpabaya at kung hindi pa naputukan ng problema e walang kikilos ng PABIGLA-BIGLA?

    Hala sige tanggalin kahit magmukha kayong mga demonyo dahil na rin sa kapabayaan…

    • jElly_aCe

      huuy yang iniinternet mo jan eh ibili mo ng fud ng mga kapatid mo na gutom na, yan ang mhirap sa utak skwat eh kumita lng ng onti happy happy na at bhala na bukas. yang pnag sesenti mo jan eh wlang wenta, ubod ka at nuknukan ng ka tengahan well nde nmn nkapag tataka kc skwat ka ehh. sna yang mga taong utak batugan tulad mo ehh isama na sa alon ng mga basura katulad mo. mag banat ka ng buto pra umasenso ka!

      • AlzheimersC

        Andami mo yatang kinakain, share mo naman sa mga taga-squatter…ikamamatay mo rin iyan pag nabilaukan ka. :)

  • Benny Dover

    the squatters will NEVER LEAVE, simply because they have the politicians under their control and noynoy is too weak a president to handle this issue.

    the only solution is for the government to focus on encouraging businesses to open in the provinces and create jobs there. that way, the squatters would leave and return to the provinces to get the jobs they need.

  • Brax82

    Bye Illegal Settlers! Wala na kayong silbi sa Pangulo kaya dapat na kayong umalis. Antay nalang ng next ellections pag kelangan na ulit niya ng maraming boto galing sa mga BOBO…

    • AlzheimersC

      “next ellections pag kelangan na ulit niya ng maraming boto”

      zero, nada, zilch, nil, nothing…wala na talaga sa hulog ang retarded na ito…bumigay na ang utak! :)

      • jElly_aCe

        npaghahalataan ka na utak skwat ka, ung tipong tambay lng sa kanto at never ever mauubusan ng kwento, nauubos ang buong mag hapon ka ka wento, kya ka wlang asenso kc utak batugan ka, tanong mo san cla ilalagay ? mag trbaho kau pra may pang pay ng renta.!!! kya lugmok ang pinas dhil sa mga taong katulad mo, wlang pagmamahal sa bayan, gusto plage libre kya nag skwat pti kuryente ninanakaw, dami na peperwisyo sanyo mga boset kau! mga batugan! kaya kau skwater kc yan ang pinili nyong buhay.

      • AlzheimersC

        Pagmamahal sa bayan? Paano mo maipapakita ang pagmamahal sa bayan kung hindi ka marunong tumulong sa inyong kapwa na mayroon ding epekto sa inyo?

        Kung sakaling mapalaban tayo sa ibang bansa sa tingin nyo kayo lang ang makikipaglaban? di ba damay din ang lahat?

        Gusto mo bang makasama sa gyera ang mga kababayan mo na malnourish at iba’y sakitin…paano tayo mananalo sa gyera kung saan ang mga kalaban natin ay may magandang pangangatawan at TALAS ng isip?

      • Brax82

        Haha! Are we talking about your RETARDED President? Tsk tsk yan na ang BAGYO! Dahil sa inyong mga squatter ay lulubog nanaman sa baha ang Manila and After, aasa kayo sa mga gunggong na politico kung saan ibinenta nyo ang mga boto niyo. Ang mga BOBO nga naman…

      • arroyoerapmarcoskurap

        Ayyy uto-utong TANGA! HAHAHA kawawa LMAO

      • AlzheimersC

        Iyan lang ang kaya mong sabihin? hohummm…nakakaantok…

      • Brax82

        Wag mong pansinin yan, isa yan sa mga dating Noytard na biglang ikinahiya ang MONGOLOID nyong pangulo at naging TROLL ko nalang. Nakakaantok talaga yan.

      • AlzheimersC

        Presidente naman ang tinira nito kaagad…

        Halatang ang pagbagsak ng Aquino administration ang inaabangan nito at hindi ang programa ng gobyerno kaya kahit maganda ang programa mas gugustuhin nito mag-fail dahil galit ka kay Pnoy…

        Typical na kalabang politiko or sympathizer ng makakaliwa ang retarded na ito. :)

      • Brax82

        Uy affected ang Uto-uto ng mga Aquino haha! A typical Noytard blinded by the yellow Propaganda! So blinded that the fool thinks that the current Retarded President still has something to offer. Kung hobby mo maging TANGA! go ahead wag ka nalang mangdamay ng mga nagtratrabaho ng mabuti. Di kami bababa sa Level nyong mga Squatter na walang ginawa kundi mag antay ng gagawin ng MONGOLOID nyong amo At umasa sa mga ibinabayad naming mga Tax Payers. Parang mga PULGAS talaga LMAO!

      • AlzheimersC

        Pasensiya ka na walang programa si Pnoy sa mga retarded na katulad mo! hahaha!

      • Brax82

        Wahaha, sabihin mo ndi talaga marunong gumawa ng matinong programa ang RETARDED mong pangulo. Oh wait, marunong pala siya mang uto ng Squatters na tulad mo, if you consider that a program then GOOD FOR YOU! LMAO!!

      • AlzheimersC

        Wala magkakandakuba ka sa kababayad ng condo mo…kaya lalo kang maaasar sa mga taga-estero… :)

      • Brax82

        Hahah! Buti naman malapit ng mawala ang mga uto-uto sa Estero. Mababawasan na ng mga TANGA ang Metro Manila. Umuwi ka na kasi ng probisya, wag ka ng makipagsisikan dito, panira lang kayo eh. Dagdag sa problema.

      • AlzheimersC

        kawawa ka iyong mga taga estero e magkakabahay samantalang ikaw ang mawawalan ng matitirhan…hahaha! mamamatay sa asar ang retarded.

      • Brax82

        ahaha ang galing talaga ng imahinasyon ng mga squatter. Kaya todo tambay lng kayo at walang matirahang matino, puro kasi kayo kwento LMAO! Nga nga all day parang si Retarded Abnoy Aquino haha!

      • AlzheimersC

        kuwento ba iyong mga nabigyan ng bahay sa estero de san miguel? hahaha mamatay ka sa asar retarded…lalo na kay Pnoy…

      • Brax82

        Ahaha Oo mamamatay ako sa Kakatawa dahil sa Panot na si Pnoy bwahahah!!! Wow ha talagang pinagmayabang nya yung mga taga Esterong nabigyan ng bahay! Good for you proud Squatter! Drugs pa! madami dyan sa inyo diba?LMAO!

      • AlzheimersC

        Aha! gumagawa ka ng shabu dahil iyan ang hanapbuhay mo?
        Kaya ka umupa ng condo para gawing shabu lab di ba?

        Good for you kaya pala malaki ang kita mo…

      • Brax82

        Aahaha kudos to your wacky Imagination! LMAO!

      • AlzheimersC

        Calling the attention of police authorities…trace nyo ang IP address nitong retarded na ito at may mahuhuli na naman kayong shabu lab…

      • Brax82

        Sa Mental na direcho mo. Well, di kita masisisi kung nababaliw ka na. La ka kasing makain LMAO! bye bye na sa mga Squatter sa Estero! Tsaka na ulit pag kelangan na ng mga Uto-uto para sa eleksyon hahah!

      • AlzheimersC

        Hahaha! di kinaya ang asaran ng retarded na ito kaya tumakas…

        Bobong retarded personal attacks lang pala ang kaya iyakin naman… :)

      • Brax82

        Wahaha!! Asa naman, nag bye lang ako sa mga kalahi mong mga squatter na nagiiyak ngaun habang itinataboy natuwa ka naman bwahahah!!! Squatter ka talaga mag isip! Bagay na bagay kayo ng RETARDED mong Pangulo! Oh wag ka ng iiyak, wala na kayong silbe sa mga POLITIKO at lalo na sa BAYAN LMAO!

      • AlzheimersC

        Bobo ka talaga! ang bayan mo ay bayan ng mahihirap…oy wala ka sa Singapore or Hongkong,,, Tanga!

        Ikaw ang walang silbi (hindi mapakinabangan ang utak) dahil wala kang solusyon kundi hamakin ang mga kababayan mo…

        Ay may isa ka pa palang dahilan…kasi retarded ka… :) LMAO

      • Brax82

        Oh tahan na Boy Squatter… Kala ko di ka na sasagot kasi napaalis ka na rin sa tabi ng Estero. Tatamad tamad kasi ang mga tulad mo at parang mga Kuneho tapos ibebenta sa highest bidder ang boto ayan tuloy puro Kakampi ng kapwa Retarded ang nanalo. Ngaun magdusa kayo mga Pulgas, di na kayo kelangan, nauto na ang mga dapat mauto. LAYAS! Bwahahaha!

  • TGM_ERICK

    If I were the voters i would think twice of giving votes to any relative of a person convicted of graft and corruption. This is to show indignation and doubts why the family would like to hold on to power. Then we look for answers or wonder why we are in this mess.

  • DonQuixoteDeRizal

    in my view, the squatter problem can’t be solved until we have the means to control our population growth. They are just too many of them poor, who normally exempted to pay taxes, to be supported by Filipinos who pay taxes.

    The present government spends billions of pesos to provide them with basic necessities thru DSWD and in return they keep electing corrupt politicians who evade paying correct taxes and hoard dollars abroad. If we have manageable population, these billions of pesos can be spent on other expenses, say education and military hardware.

    I sincerely hope that the SC will gather its act together and allow RH law be implemented soonest.

    • Ganymede

      Since the Catholic Church and its allies opposes the RH law, are you saying that they are contributing to the problem instead of solving it? The priests are educated people why don’t they realize this?

      • TheSmilingBandit

        It isn’t in the interest of the Roman Catholic Church (or for that matter any other established religious groups) to control the population growth. After all, the more poor people there are, the less educated they will be, thus leading to more faithful people as the nation strains to feed, clothe, and educate, these huddled masses.

      • Ganymede

        Makes sense!

  • UrHONOR

    GET rid the country of the TNL na SQUATTERS and we’d annihilate ONE of the BIGGER BURDENS of the country. Ito pa nga MARAHIL ang pinakamabigat na KRUS na pinapasan ng bayan—pugad ng mga masasamang loob, panira sa tourism, isa sa mga sanhi ng pagbabaha, lapastangan sa mga naghirap na may-ari ng mga lupang ina-angkin nila na hindi naman sila nagbabayad ng KAHIT na ANONG URI ng BUWIS, isang katerbang mga anak na gumagala sa mga kalsadang daanan ng mga sasakyan,…. sa maikling pananalita, mga KRIMINAL na may apog at mukha pang bumanggit ng KATARUNGANG PANLIPUNAN samantalang SILA MISMO ang gumagawa ng kapalastanganan sa batas ng bayan at pamamaraan ng lipunan!

    Render SOCIAL JUSTICE where and to whom social justice is due. To those who don’t deserve it, TAKE THEM OUT of the law-abiding and peace-loving communities.

    • AlzheimersC

      Hindi ka nila marinig so paano mapakikinggan ang iyong advice?

      Better say it sa mga dwellers sa Maricaban creek, sigurado mareresolba ang problema mo sa kanila… :)

  • randyaltarejos

    Even the “condos” at the North Cemetery are owned by the rich!



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