Don’t blame the government for your predicament on the delay or non-delivery of benefits to the urban poor as required by law.
This was how a Quezon City councilor reprimanded the informal settlers and their supporters who refused to submit themselves for interviews from the National Statistics Office (NSO).
Councilor Jaime Borres, (3rd Dist.) said that the failure of the informal settlers in the city to submit themselves to lawful NSO census had caused problems in the government’s delivery of basic services.
Borres said that ISFs should fully cooperate with legitimate bodies to negate whatever influence professional squatters may have on unscrupulous syndicates that take advantage of them.
He noted that the survey on informal squatters will enable concerned government agencies to easily identify the actual number of qualified recipients under the “Lina Law’’.
“It is now 2013 and I believe that the city government intends to provide more benefits to qualified urban poor communities in Quezon City. May I suggest that the concerned parties should submit themselves to lawful census to facilitate their inclusion in the list of legitimate claimants,’’ Borres added.
With the growing complaints of undelivered benefits, legitimate beneficiaries have sometimes accused the city and national agencies of discrimination after being left out of the list of legal recipients for government aid due to their indifference in submitting themselves to interviews done by the NSO field personnel.
At times, they have been victimized by professional squatters and are being used to rebel against the lawful orders of the city or national government thinking that their actions are within the bounds of the law.
Private groups have aired complaints against affluent individuals masquerading as legitimate members of the urban poor as they have either rented out or sold the rights of government or privately owned lots to unsuspecting squatter families.
When the government tries to re-acquire the properties, the squatter families believing in the legitimacy of their transactions with the unscrupulous squatter syndicates stand in the way of rightful demolition of illegal structures causing injuries and even death.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on the other end, have recommended that poor dwellers may not be evicted from their houses nor their dwellings be demolished except in accordance with the law and in the most humane manner.
It also calls for an adequate consultation with the community leaders before any resettlement or relocation to a site with available services, materials, infrastructures and other basic facilities can be undertaken.
Borres said the city government should not be branded as the coddler of squatters since it is only adapting the CHR resolution and adhering to Republic Act No. 7279 (Urban Development and Housing Act) which provides relocation sites and basic services and access to employment to legitimate beneficiaries.