A sustainable solution to the squatter problem in the Philippines

Judging from the reaction of the readers to previous articles on squatters in the Philippines, there are definitely more decent Filipinos who are fed up with squatters who bite the hand that feed them compared to the number of readers who defended some of the squatters’ parasitic tendencies.

manila_squattersAfter my suggestion that illegal settlers should move out of their illegally occupied property, a lot of those who reacted strongly agree that the squatters have not only overstayed their welcome, they have also lost the sympathy of some of the hardworking taxpayers who have been very generous and tolerant of their abusive ways in the past.

It has come to the point where some taxpayers have already expressed their outrage and unwillingness to shoulder any relocation expenses in the future. This is after realizing that there are actually professional squatters who just take the money handed out to them by the government on condition that they agree to be relocated. Many of them, it usually turns out, will simply move to a new area to squat thereby cheating the system. The worst thing about this is that these handouts merely promote dependency instead of self-sufficiency. Some people who have decent jobs and work hard even say that life on the dole seems hassle-free.

Of course there were those who were outraged with Filipinos who were outraged by the squatters’ arrogance. Some of them say that the “elite” and “educated” should not be too harsh on the squatters who resort to violence because they are merely driven by frustration and hopelessness by government inefficiency and bureaucracy. Never mind that a lot of the people from the squatter areas are known to accept bribes from corrupt public officials who are obviously inefficient and incompetent in the performance of their jobs. We get the politicians we deserve then. People from the squatter areas contributed significantly to the electing to office of public officials who are not really interested in uplifting the poor people’s conditions. The members of the “thinking class” can be forgiven for suggesting that some Filipinos from certain socio-economic classes should not be allowed to vote at all to end the sham that happens every election.

Squatter sympathizers insist that it is the government’s sole responsibility to cater to the poor in the slums. For the record, the taxpayers have been very generous without even realizing it. The National Housing Authority (NHA) is spending P3.4-billion in low-rise housing projects that are said to be currently in various stages of development. This includes “10 low-rise housing projects, equivalent to 6,404 housing units, being built by the NHA for the 18,000 families living in the six priority waterways in Metro Manila.”

In addition, taxpayers are paying an 18,000-peso “rental subsidy” for each squatter family relocated to other settlement sites. That’s a lot of money if you multiply that by the number families in the squatter areas. The number of families in squatter areas keeps growing everyday and could even go up further after the government’s subsidy announcement. According to the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council estimate, at the moment there are 550,771 squatter households in the country, over 90,000 of which are in Quezon City alone.

Asking the squatters to move out and clear the areas they are currently occupying – near riverbanks, under the bridges, along the railroad tracks and behind economic and exclusive residential zones, is easier said than done. Aside from professional squatters who try to cheat the system, there are squatters who keep returning to squat near the cities because they say there is no livelihood in the relocation sites. This is proof that the government’s relocation program is completely flawed and is not even working to decongest the country’s busiest districts.

To address this perennial problem, instead of spending too much money on relocation of the squatters, the government should allocate the funds to develop industries in other regions in the country to create jobs for the unemployed. This will encourage the squatters to move out on their own. At the moment, the country’s projects are too focused on developing infrastructure within the capital region. This naturally compels people to converge in the same areas to look for work.

Likewise, the squatter sympathizers who demand more dole-outs for the poor should give taxpayers a break. Using band-aid solutions cannot solve the squatter problem and will not break the cycle of poverty in the country. Giving money away in exchange for nothing is not going to help inspire the poor to achieve independence. It has been proven in the past that money that is earned through hard work is better appreciated than money received for free. In considering this, the government can also run an initiative by paying the poor only after they have provided some services to the community. This can be in the form of asking them to work for several hours a week cleaning up the environment or helping out in beautification projects in their local areas. That can make them appreciate and care for their surroundings in the long run. They can also develop life-long skills that they can use for future employment.

Those from the squatter areas who work menial jobs for the upper class are already given breaks by being allowed not to pay tax. Their situation is what is referred to as the underground economy that is unregulated. It may be a double-edged sword because they can be paid peanuts, but it is the result of the law of supply and demand.

It is wrong for some people to insist that the poor people in the squatter areas are the taxpayer’s responsibility. Not only is such a philosophy unsustainable, it is tantamount to going against nature. If one doesn’t have the right skill to survive in the city jungle, one should seek another jungle that is more appreciative of one’s abilities.

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48 Comments on “A sustainable solution to the squatter problem in the Philippines”

  1. I have no clue, they just multiply like rabbits, they must be subsidized by powerful force that no one can subdued. How many decades have the powerful been pandering for their support? until the kilos of rice and sardines will not be enough? On the other hand I give credit to their ingenuity how they can turn a 3 sq. meter into a fad complete with kitchen, laundry, playroom tv and garden and ready armament with 16th century bolo or samurai sword in the front door for intruders. go go pinoys! if you can’t beat the elites and the oligark beat them with filth, fill up the drainage and the canal with your garbage and build a stinking mound of a city and see how they ship. Then elect your own politicians out of the squatters mold.

    1. @chonoon

      Like I said to someone earlier, the poor people from the squatter areas keep electing the same incompetent and corrupt celebrities every election who are not even interested in uplifting their conditions. They are the cause of their own misery.

      1. yet we are forced to suffer along with them. nay, we suffer more, for our fault is less than theirs. we are the ones trying to uplift the sinking boat of our economy yet they kept making boats out of the infrastructure, led by their pirate of a saviour. what do our actions accomplish? nothing, for ours is a system of popularity not of merit. the same people we are trying to save would not take the medicine, for it is bitter, preferring the sweet lies and empty promises as cures to their diabetes of suffering. little do they know, if the rot becomes to strong, the failing limb has to be severed.

  2. You’ve written a well-thought article, taking into consideration both opposing and sympathetic views on squatters. I agree that it is not the government’s responsibility to shoulder squatters’ relocation expenses. However, I would guess that there are some squatters, who if given opportunies, would succeed and no longer be part of the squatter community. What percentage of the community these candidates compromise is unknown, but similar to the welfare system of the U.S., there are many who leech off the system, making it a way of life, instead of leaning *temporarily* on a support sytem until they are able to become self-sufficient (sort of like wearing a cast *temporarily* around broken bones. By the way, the concept of self-sufficieny in Philippine culture seems to be rather uncommon.) Therefore as your article expressed, squatters basically have taken advantage of the loophole(s) in the system.

    I have wondered, myself, what would be the solution to this perpetual societal disease. Their eyesore presence alongside high-end communities such as Ayala Alabang is rather mind-boggling and creates a jarring effect on the optical senses. Why is it such a big deal to permanently ban them from certain locations? Is there not enough manpower to enforce laws? I have lived here for five years, which, perhaps, it isn’t long enough to fully understand the depth and complexity of the squatter problem. It just doesn’t make sense when I drive by the borders of Ayala Alabang to see very high concrete fences topped with barb wire indicating that there’s serious threat. I wouldn’t want to spend that much money on housing just so that I can face optically offending sights from my window.

    What would it take to teach squatters to become independent? It seems that it would take an internal change — a change of mindset and spirit, a willingness to improve oneself. There’s no point dishing hand-outs, because it doesn’t help the individual to become resourceful (plus the system that helps them is convoluted — so the results are unsurprsingly convoluted). The challenge lies in causing the change — that must come from an internal desire.

    I am sure this problem has boggled the minds of countless people and that countless people are also trying to come up with answers. What’s glaringly wrong though is politicians taking advantage of their poverty to win votes — a loop hole in the system that must be eliminated. I like the concept of qualifying voters. If one hasn’t displayed the ability to live responsibly, then they’re disqualified from voting. That would put an end to electing glorified court jesters into office.

    My apologies for the harsh tone, but some of the events and circumstances I have witnessed in the Philippines are very disturbing, to say the least.

    …just my two pesos.

    1. @Aryianna

      Thank you for your comment. I am so glad you got the point without being “offended” for the subject of the article. As you have pointed out, people who leech off the system is not exclusive to Filipinos. However, in some countries they have an effective checks and balances to make it harder for people to abuse the system.

      Yes, you are correct in saying that self-sufficiency is not encouraged in our society. Most Filipinos believe in depending on others for their well-being. Mind, you that it’s not just people from the lower class who have this mindset. Even some people from the upper class tend to rely on connections to help them succeed in life. It’s what we refer to as the “padrino” system.

      1. very well explained.!i THOUGHT I am so un Christian of hating them.I encourage them to work and pay almost 5oo pesos per day just to clean my small house pag tinamad hindi na papasok!SHE CLEANS 3X A WEEK only.If I am poor with several children I’LL grab this opportunity.

  3. i would imagine NEO MANILA, IN THE YEAR 2073.. TO be a highwalled/ skycraper walled megalopolis, with the elites inside with the trapings of life, while the 10billion masses live outside of it, in a post-apocalyptic madmax/ judge dred/ 5th element scenario, with high tech toys, instant flash foodz, and 20 member family each, with diffrent mutations, psychic abilites, and multilple belief, cult, group, clan system….while the other side is aN ORDERLY utopian city of gold and massive statues …. hehe just my 2 centaboz

      1. I think part of a solution to this whole problem would be to offer people an option. Offer cash to men and women from age 21-40 money to be sterilized, or more politically correct: men get a vasectomy and women have their tubes tied. If I was in desperate poverty and had more than 2 kids and could not see out of my situation, I certainly would take the offer of P10,000 cash and not have to worry about more mouths to feed!

  4. …who will go to war of the RACEs on the year 2100, the prophesyd , envitable outcome, of the peasant vs landlordz warzzz…and only one family will be left to repopoulate the whole nation..the prophesyd family..hehe lolzz

  5. Nice read, I like the way you focus on the taxpayers’ plight. Imo, the best way to eradicate squatting completely is making it a crime and persecuting offenders. Many may see it as inhumane but it needs to be done. Now, I kinda understand why Marcos made the martial law. Filipinos now have become the parasites in their own land and it needs to stop.

    1. @Jeijei

      Thanks for reading! I don’t think enforcing the law on squatters is inhumane. No one is above the law. Sad to say Philippine law enforcement agencies are not good at enforcing the laws. Some of them probably benefit from the organised criminals who help with the proliferation of squatters.

  6. my 2cents

    1. obviously one of the root causes for our problem is the structure of the government. why? because it supports mendicancy and collaborative corruption. change this form to parliamentary, and we can easily remove a failing branch. establish better visibility, and i think it’s high time that the elections be changed from popularity to merit. impose stricter regulations with government offices. if we had to take bar and board exams to qualify in our jobs, why shouldn’t they? the civil service exam can be passed by any competent high school student. these same people who handle our MANDATORY government obligations, taking our tax money for their salaries, are not that qualified. hell, they even have this attitude like we owe them something.

    2. control the population to a manageable level. no need to go extreme, but if we really take a good look at it, the population is grossly bloated, with a small economy and too many dependents. with less people come more opportunities and sustainable living. hell our economy might even rise. too much dependency and not enough responsibility.

    3. distribute the population unto the parts of the country by establishing livelihood all over. granted this is a difficult task as the country is an archipelago, but doesn’t this also open up the fishing industry? we have a lot of SEA! why don’t we have more sea farers? because our society has been trained to look down on manual labor. laging inaapi ang magsasaka at mangingisda sa tv. what the hell?

    4. change our sampalan shows to something with actual substance. the filipino household is well-known for being tv addicts, why not utilize the media for education? remove the notion of “lumuwas ng maynila para makipagsapalaran”. this is old plot. nowadays if you do that you will end in the slums.

    5. establish better transportation systems to support the industries in the farther reaches of the country. one of the complaints of the illegal settlers is that there is no work where they are to be relocated. hello? we commute daily from Laguna to Novaliches to work, why can’t you do the same?

    yeah, that’s all i can think at the top of my head.

    1. @Amaterasu

      I don’t have a problem with the parliamentary system. The only thing is, if we shift to the parliamentary system of government now, PNoy could stay as PM forever. He is still very popular with the people and I realise that voters would still look at the popularity of the leader of the party and not their policies in choosing during election.

      The population should be curbed, indeed. However, Filipinos are still debating what method to use in achieving it. I think the best solution is to create jobs. When the poor become busy with their jobs, they’ll have less time to make babies.

      The people’s representatives in congress should address the shortage of jobs in their respective districts. I don’t know what the heck they are doing with their time anyway. They seem to be busy spending their pork barrel funds without achieving much for the community.

      I agree with most of your suggestions.

      1. it’s a rather vicious cycle : we have a lousy government because the people who voted them into place are ignorant of a better life. as they are ignorant they can only relate with what they know, and that is, popularity over merit, hence they keep voting the same people in place who keep them ignorant. supporting this is another vicious wheel of the lack of education due to overpopulation, and overpopulation due to lack of education.

        if we look at the more progressive countries, people are working. always working. and they are aware of the responsibility they have towards their offsprings. this is ironic since most of them are born into working class, unlike the people here who are born in poverty and thus should have more incentives to strive.

        it’s sad. our very culture promotes the pagtitiis and pagtyatyaga. this is wrong. we shouldn’t tiis, we shouldn’t tyaga. we should aim for something better. but our people are caught in the endless stupor, fed into a coma by “living with a smile” and “idaan sa tawa”.

      2. how can you create more jobs when politicians from top to bottom are milking those who want to put up business. with the LGU if they see the project study of a biz in their turf, they will not give permit, instead they will put it up, in the big leagues no padrino, no puede senor. you can ask, i,ve been there.

    2. The Philippines needs to act now and take some drastic action to control the population explosion for such a small country. Providing jobs sounds good, but it will not happen. Offer cash to men and women to be neutered and spayed just like the animals they are. If the women are so un-educated they can’t know the time of the month they are most fertile, then offer them cash, like P10,000 each to have their tubes tied..

  7. I used to lived in squatters’ area before in Tondo, and I must say people are contented; if you want to grow well gon on and if you don’t want, welcome to the club. IMO, aside from eduacation which is free in some of the cities here in Metro, TV networks should also provide good and motivating stories to share with, not those telenovelas which makes us (pinoy) so pathetic and helpless. News, also in the Philippines should discuss not only crimes but also the ability or how our officers handles the situation which are so perennial yearly. But sad to say, these Tv networks are so biased and just giving us little piece of what they have found out. Thanks goodness internet and google were invented. And I also think that Filipino government as well as its people are not reaching its maturity unlike in Western countries since our nation just completely freed just decades ago (more or less 60 years, I think). More years to come before we will reached to realize that we are all duped.

    1. @traffice200

      I agree with you on the role media plays in the dumbing down of Filipinos. The local shows also promotes dependence on handouts.

  8. Income deductions that benefit the squatters should be made optional. Let the squatter sympathizers support them on their own so they can feel the full effect of this virus they are trying to breed. Eventually these sympathizers will either “get real” or those hardcore ones will turn out to be squatters themselves. In any case, that’s not a pie I want a piece of.

    Hey I’ve got an idea.. If these sympathizers want to be part of the solution then why not let the squatters live with them? Just a thought…

    1. Some people can’t think outside the square. Instead of finding a more sustainable solution to the squatter problem, they want to continue doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. It’s called insanity.

  9. “Squatter sympathizers insist that it is the government’s sole responsibility to cater to the poor in the slums.”

    General rule of thumb: What the State can do, private parties can do better.

    Yeah, that’s all I’ll say with regards to the statement.

    1. Unfortunately, there seems to be a shortage of private enterprises who are willing to help out. It would be good though if they did because the government doesn’t have enough funds to cater to the growing number of poor Filipinos.

      1. That shortage is a self-inflicted wound, made by politicians and their blind suporters. Prior to the curent constitution it was legal for us foreigners to own property and a business, and there was much more prosperity for all. Ever since it was outlawed things have gone down badly for everyone.
        I am a professional electrician and master cabinet maker. I would like to have and run my own business, but can’t due to xenophobic laws. If I could, I’d have to hire and train Pinoys how to do highly advanced woodworking, thus increasing their marketable skills. But the law forbids it, so many pinoys go without the advanced vocational education I could provide. So the socialist laws bring harm, poverty, and ignorance to the Filipino people and economy.
        Many people thinkincorrectly that if foreigners own a business they’ll get all the money, leaving Filipinos poor. Not at all true! As I have shown, my having a business means Filipinos have jobs and training they can use for the rest of their lives. This means that I not only pay them, but I also teach them advanced woodworking techniques that enrichen their future, ending the cycle of poverty, and teaching them responsibility. This is good for everybody!
        The biggest mistake people make is to assume that if I earn money thenyou will suffer, because people mistakenly believe that wealth is static, like a pie, so if I get a slice others supposedly won’t have enough to go around. Bt NOTHING could be more ludicrous; wealth is not limited, it is created. If I create wealth in the Philippine economy through my business then there is more wealth in the economy to go around; more people benifit. And the mony I earn I will spend at Philippino businesses, benefiting them as well. My material suppliers will benefit when I buy.
        Unfortunately, due to the xenophobic anti-foreigner laws, none of this can happen. Instead you see now that those laws have these effects:
        * many Filipinos are left unemployed
        * Filipinos don’t receive advanced training I could have provided
        * since I’m not earning more I have to spend less, preventing Filipino businesses from earning more.
        * without the income and training I could have provided countless Filipinos cannout use that income and training to start their own business, thus leaving them stranded in poverty.
        The lust goes on, but I think you now see how government’s laws pretending to ‘protect the Filipino from foreigners’ is actually just preventing them from receiving advanced education and prosperity, thus harming everyone!

        Actions have consequences. It is unfortunate that the average Filipino cannot see the harmful consequences they bring onto themselves with their xenophobic laws against foreigners. Repeal those laws, give us back our God-given rights to own our own home and business, and repeal all laws that take property from one person and gives it to another who didn’t earn it, and in 20 years you’ll see a much more prosperous Philippines all around you.

    2. Correct! Some people, even the educated Class B group do not know that it is actually possible for the private sector to be richer than the government. Democracy and Capitalism ensures that.

      I am sure that if the government was competent enough and offers a feasible solution to the problems they can encourage more assistance from these citizen enterprises similar to a borrower presenting his business plan so he can be granted the loan from investors.

      But since the government is proving to be a motley crew of overreachers and underachievers, there is no way in hell that the private group will give more than what it has been giving so far because profit will always be their driving force and not charity.

  10. Lets borrow some nuclear rods from fukushima and drop it in the center with a radius just enough to cover their blight. Cordon off the area with high walls preferably concrete thick enough to withstand radiation. Let it sit for 6 months and afterwards remove the nuclear rods and decontaminate the area. Problem solved.

  11. Isn’t that people in the squatter area are consumers? Isn’t it that that they have to pay 12% VAT in every purchase or any expenses they have? Isn’t it that the labor force of the workers create the profit that goes to the capitalist? Isn’t it that the tax of the capitalist or business men are taken from the profit made by the workers? Then who pay the taxes? The one waiting or the one working?

  12. hmmm.. i read the article but did not really see any concrete sustainable solution offered by the author. i’d say only about a third of the article offered a discussion about sustainable squatter solutions-the rest are just rants.

    the truth is, there is no quick and easy solution to this problem. i believe everyone agrees that this is a problem but no one really knows the parameters of the problem. no one knows because there is not enough data collected about this problem. every has there own solutions but i think what we need is to collect more data and fund more research about this. squatter demographics. let’s find out how these squatters make their living, their place of origin, do they have access to food,water,electricity,telecom,education, percentage of male/female,age groups and lots lots more. spending effort and resources in funding solutions based on little or no data is just wasteful and arrogant.
    i would refer the government to the work of stuart brand who did research on the slums of mumbai. there’s a lot to learn about these squatters before we could rush into any perceived sustainable solution.

    1. If you don’t see a concrete and sustainable solution, then instead of pointing out the lacunae WHICH YOU ARE REPEATING, offer one or two. Your attack on the author’s lacuna of a solution is an ‘argumentum ad hominum’ (attacking the person instead of the issue) logic fallacy, and in no way negates the author’s points.

      Until a problem is identified and talked about there can be no solution. Attacking the author for not supplying a solution that satisfies you is foolish, especially when YOU have no concrete and sustainable solution of your own to offer.

      Also, it’s nonsense to claim without any supporting evidence that “no one really knows the parameters of the problem”. The only thing that you can know for sure is that YOU don’t know the parameters of the problem. Plenty of historic data has been collected over the years (quod erat demonstrandum -as per your own admision when you cited the study of Stuart Brand), and there are people who have studied political science and economics all their life, yet you pretend to know that they know nothing. Talk about arrogance!

      (Why do Filipinos love to carelessly toss that word around without any understanding of it’s true meaning? Don’t they understand that incorrect application of that word simply makes you look arrogant when incorrectly accusing another of it? Philippine schools appear to be teaching incorrect definitions of English words to their students, since every Filipino using that word does so wrongly abd abusively.)

      Solutions are simpler than you think. They are as numerous as the causes. For example, in the study of economics we know that:

      ‘Anything you tax you get less of, and
      anything you subsidise you get more of.’

      That is a simple economic fact of life; an economic law. So if you want less poverty then stop subsidizing poverty; no one should receive what they did not earn; it’s a privilege, not a right.
      If you want more unproductive people just increase taxes on producers, and take their property and give it to others.

      Simple! But the Philippines does the exact opposite of what is required to get the prosperity you want; they heavily tax producers and subsidise nonproducers. They take property from legitimate owners without just cause or compensation, and gift it to ‘the poor’ who then mismanage it out of ignorance. The end result? A steadily increasing national poverty and more and more squatters demanding their free handout at another’s expense.

      So before you arrogantly complain that the author didn’t satisfy you with a pre-packaged solution, first understand the problem yourself, which was the actual goal of the author. Then don’t be so presumptive (which is a form of arrogance) as to presume that you know that nobody else knows the parameters of the problem, because there’s plenty of people who know more that you, just as there’s plenty who know less than you.

      Where ever you go in life, you’ll always find sombody who knows something you don’t know!

      So don’t arrogantly call other people arrogant just because you don’t agree with something they said – that’s NOT the meaning of arrogant; it means to ‘claim’ or ‘pretend’ to have more knowledge (when you actualy don’t) or to be superior (when you actually aren’t) than another.

      Also note bene that ACTUALLY knowing more than another or ACTUALLY being superior to another is NOT arrogance, it’s simply fact: some people actually are smarter or superior to others. It all depends on whether or not there is a pretense or unjustified claim.
      So the true arrogance most often occurs when an inferor person or one of lesser education calls a more intelligent or superior person ‘arrogant’.

      1. Hear, hear!

        Some people wouldn’t recognise a solution even if it bit them on the nose! They are blinded by their own biases.

  13. i completely agree with you. this article indeed is very informative,that is why i would like to recommend writing the same thought in our own language. para mas maintindihan nila. di yung puro dota. share natin.

  14. This complex problem of squatting can be rooted from lack of job opportunities in the countryside. The government can not create real jobs, only the private sector can. However, the government is not allowed to fund private sector business that will create these jobs. This is the problem of the government, as it eludes the solution to this ‘disconnect’. This is one reason for the jobless growth we have.

  15. I appreciate that you put thought and effort into this.
    I agree with your conclusion that job creation is the best solution.
    I think that my perception of your general perspective, which is that squatters are responsible for their predicament, reflects a poor understanding of the nature of poverty.
    Your comment that “People from the squatter areas contributed significantly to the electing to office of public officials who are not really interested in uplifting the poor people’s conditions” is absurd.

    1. Chris,

      Look back on previous articles posted on GRP that discuss in depth the root causes of poverty.

      Are you saying that no squatter voted for the spate of elected officials that are in power now? The self-same politicians who made promises to improve their wretched condition and who have yet to provide a workable solution to the problem of persistent poverty that poverty rates are rising dramatically in the face of the Philippines’ supposed economic growth.

    2. @Chris

      Your comment that “People from the squatter areas contributed significantly to the electing to office of public officials who are not really interested in uplifting the poor people’s conditions” is absurd.

      Why do you think it is “absurd”?

  16. Have you ever gone inside a squatter colony ? I have ! It is humanity living in a sewer, above, along, beside, below, living in hovels built from disgarded fragments of rotted coco lumber, broken furniture, torn filthy tarps, rusted nails, low cellings, and often stacked 3 to 4 floors high. Dirt floors, repressive heat, sickness, TB, rotted teeth, dysentery, unwanted pregnancy, criminality, open fires, illegal electrical hookups, no fire route access or escape plan, none of the occupants ever paying taxes. Sweaty Babies with snotty noses, children covered in dirt, dressed in rags, everyone peeing almost anywhere, crapping in plastic bags, one tap for 30 or more families. People sleeping on mats, lined up often like sardines, with the rats, cockroaches, unimaginable strenches wafting from every direction. Walkways 18 inches wide, the sounds of voices, crying, wailing, laughing, screaming, as if you just woke up liviing inside a Fellini movie complete with dwarfs and disfigured would wandering around. It is sad to see, (but) with the inhabitants amazingly cheerful, and quite pleased it would seem, with the entire arrangement.
    Of course, much of the time the squatters are simply tolerated by the true land owner who pays the property taxes, has title to the property but faces huge challenges to reclaim what is in fact owned. Evicting the squatters is rarely possible without resorting to costly and lengthy legal remedy that through delaying tactics can take 10 or 15 years to resolve.
    In the Philippines where the Judiciary is broken, impunity rules, and discipline doesn’t exist, the problem simply exacerbates itself, with the Government lacking the will or the intention to fix any of the country’s ills.
    The squatter problem is a good example of why the Philippines can never really move away from its 3rd world status. As long as the right of ownership cannot be exercised over the so called rights of squatters who in modern society should only have extremely limited rights, expect little in the Philippines to truly change. It is a country that has a hopeless future unless overdue reforms can get a foothold. Looking at the Political landscape, it really does not look even remotely encouraging.

  17. The world as we know it will always have the poor, the bad and the squatters…so we have to accept them but must control them fairly. Yet we must accept that we are in a world of evil and where hell starts because it was written in the Bible. Thus only GOD can control humanity by calamity…pain…tragedy…immorality will always be here in the valley of tears until the second coming and the just will be saved….Sex trafficking follows as the next rampant problem followed by child abuse and OFW slavery…..we are all blind to what is really going on in Pinas….no one is strong enough to control the evil doers in Pinas even with all the warnings of calamity but if I cannot do anything maybe I will just pray for the innocent and continue to warn the people about the impending massive collapse of the archipelago down into the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean…the Marianas Trench….three times higher than Mt Everest….. e-KALAT ang katuwiran …..when will we see a free and unobstructed trial so that we can get rid of the bad apples in our society and how do we make other officials be honest while serving the people and not to fill their pockets only….there is more sinister things going on in our rotten criminal system of justice that our press are also part of the problem since they are not independent and free and are coerced and scared to those in power because they are under their financial influence..

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