At a press briefing, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is in the process of identifying who the “real” informal settlers are.
“We understand that concern pero napag-aralan na po ng DILG ‘yan. We’re identifying who are the real informal settlers and those who are professionally making this as a means of squatting,” he said.
Lacierda added that the DILG is also studying the possibility of giving the P18,000 subsidy in tranches so that it will be certainly used for paying monthly rent for temporary housing.
DILG Undersecretary Francisco Fernandez, in-charge of relocating informal settlers in Metro Manila away from danger zones, earlier said the government is planning to shell out P18,000 for each of the 20,000 affected families to encourage them to leave their houses near waterways.
Clogged waterways as a result of informal settlers living near them have been blamed for the flood problems that constantly hit Metro Manila every rainy season.
In a separate text message, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the P18,000 subsidy will be sourced from the budget allocated by the government for relocating informal settlers.
“Since 2011, the government has been setting aside P10 billion to relocate informal settler families living dangerously along river banks, esteros and other waterways… The budget for this subsidy is drawn from this fund,” he said.
He added that these families may opt to relocate within their current cities or in resettlement areas outside their cities.
Lacierda, meanwhile, denied that the government is taking the easy way out of the problem with informal settlers through the P18,000 subsidy.
“This is not a band-aid solution. A band-aid solution is just giving them assistance and that’s it. We have already programmed structures to be completed for these families,” he said.
He added that the National Housing Authority is in the process of completing 20,000 permanent housing facilities for informal settlers in Metro Manila. — Andreo Calonzo/KBK, GMA News