Lessons learned following the Junjun Binay Dasma incident: Are gated communities even legal?

Now that the buzz was created, the Netizens stirred into an outrage fad, the subjects of the brouhaha forced into a pathetic response, and the “input” from the intelligentsia collated, comes the time to step back, take stock and reflect on what it all means. Very few people sympathise with Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay and his sister Senator Nancy Binay which is quite understandable because just about every Filipino is sick to their bowels digesting the banal bullshit Filipino politicians routinely feed them.

President BS Aquino and possible future president Jejomar Binay
President BS Aquino and possible future president Jejomar Binay
Yet, in the overall scheme of things, it does not really matter whose “side” you are on. To outsiders, the Philippines is just another primitive country where the silliest problems begging the most obvious solutions routinely go unsolved for decades — even centuries. And if we look closer at the real issue at the very root of all this, we might find the more long-term and fundamental solution that has been begging to be implemented for years.

A lot of us make this most recent example of the profound social dysfunction that afflicts Philippine society all about The Rules. Where there are community-accepted rules, the thinking goes, all who are part of said community are subject to these regardless of rank. But then if we step back further, perhaps we forget that the very existence of the rules at stake here are, by their very nature, like a house built on sand. What, after all, lends legal bases for the summary blockading of an entire road network that is part and parcel of the overall city road network?

Many of us who’ve had to endure the inconvenience of having their driver’s licenses surrendered to a security guard at the gate of an “exclusive” subdivision we are entering as “guests” can attest to the utter ridiculousness of the whole notion. The silence of the North Forbes Park and Dasmariñas Village associations (employers of the private firm Right Eight Security agency that oversees security in the area) perhaps is a clue to how legally-precarious this notion is — that a vast swath of A-grade road network within a traffic-gridlocked metropolis can be kept inaccessible to the public in order to keep an infinitessimal sector of the society secure and insulated from the problems of the larger community that hosts them.

Residents of these exclusive villages will justify the privilege of closing off and fortifying their neighbourhood against the bigger community by pointing out that the Philippine police lack the resources to secure their personal assets. But then stop and think about what this position on the matter of inadequate police resources means. Inadequate law enforcement is a public issue. More importantly, it is a community challenge. For all the platitudes and pretentious demonstrations of bayanihan exhibited by residents of limited-access enclaves in times of crises, at the very heart of their routine lives is a blanket refusal on their part to participate in the overall community as a matter of general habit.

Perhaps elite Filipinos’ predisposition to living in gated communities is likely a legacy of colonial rule. Mexicans, considered to be Filipinos’ cultural twins in the United States, suffer the same scourge. Gated communities in Mexico are a result of the huge income gap existing in the country. A 2008 study found that the average income in an urban area of Mexico was $26,654, a rate higher than advanced nations like South Korea or Taiwan while the average income in rural areas (sometimes just miles away) was only $8,403. This close a proximity of wealth and poverty has created a large security risk for Mexico’s middle class. Gated communities can be found in virtually every medium and large sized city in Mexico with the largest found in major cities, such as Monterrey, Mexico City or Guadalajara.

But just as it is in Mexico, it is quite easy to profile social and economic class on the mere basis of physical appearance in the Philippines. It is a generally-accepted (though something not talked about in public forums and polite company) fact that wealthy and socially-upscale Filipinos tend to be fairer-skinned. Less socially-upscale Filipinos tend to be darker. This is not surprising considering that much of the wealth of the Philippines is still held by the descendants of former colonial nationals — ethnic Spanish and American people and families — as well as descendants of highly-enterprising North Asian migrants. Indeed, even today, a new wave of migrants from Korea are making economic and cultural waves — buying up property, investing in businesses, establishing prosperous communities, as well as spreading and embedding their culture. Suffice to say, Koreans are also fair-skinned.

It is no surprise, therefore, that skin-whitening cosmetic products sell like hotcakes in the Philippines. It is because fair skin is widely-considered an essential upward mobility enabler. That this is so is evident in the Philippines’ showbiz industry, where fair-skinned personalities utterly dominate.

Looking at it this way, it is easy to spot, on the basis of physical appearance, people who “do not belong” in upscale premises, such as rich residential enclaves like Dasmariñas Village. The sorts of people residents of these village would rather not see loitering about their neighbourhoods stick out like dark spots on a yellow flag anyway. Security cameras will easily pick them out. Hook this data up to Facebook and its facial recognition technology will plug them into its vast database. Security agencies can even send them friend requests.

Dance dance pag may time: Binay with Manila Mayor Erap Estrada
Dance dance pag may time: Binay with Manila Mayor Erap Estrada

And so here is the point:

Why bother gating and fortifying wealthy subdivisions like Dasmariñas Village?

Modern technology now allows what Dasma security guards have been doing for decades and their Guardia Civil forerunners have been doing for centuries.

Perhaps it is time we give back Dasma, Forbes, Bel Air, Udraneta, San Lorenzo and Magallanes roads back to the general motoring public of Makati City. That way, the issue of crime, security, and police quality truly becomes a community issue regardless of social class and ethnic background.

I can buy your friends and this club” — half-Aussie Pinoy celeb Anne Curtis

[NB: Parts of this article were lifted from the Wikipedia.org article “Gated Community” in a manner compliant to the terms stipulated in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that governs usage of content made available in this site.]

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73 Comments on “Lessons learned following the Junjun Binay Dasma incident: Are gated communities even legal?”

  1. I live in an “ungated” subdivision. It’s not a rich neighborhood, but I want to say we’re a little bit on the higher end of the middle class. We’ve had numerous incidents wherein the compound of our home/factory has been broken into, and drunken college students cause a stir on the road outside my house. The intersection 2 houses down the street has been notorious for holdapers and other snatchers. It’s a pain to paint the outside walls of your house because some jackass is just going to vandalize it.

    Imagine that, but put it into the context of the posh subdivisions. You work hard, you build your wealth and your career, you create a home for your family. You come home one day and some asshole decides to ruin everything by stealing what you worked hard for. They vandalize and disrespect your house because some people are just born assholes. Why should you have to put up with that when there’s something you can do about it?

    You can say all you want about reintegrating these subdivisions into the community, you can even argue that the technology is there. But face the facts: There are a lot of assholes in the community.

  2. AFAIK, the roads in a gated community were built by, and are owned and maintained by the lot owners of the community. So yes, they are in fact private property.

    It’s kind of like saying that just because you have a nice house it should be legal for just anyone to come in and enjoy it.

    If you have any legal information contrary to this though, I’d be glad to read it, as I am curious on the matter as well.

  3. Are gated communities even legal? YES.
    This is like asking if a house can have a wall and gate, or a even just a door to keep trespassers out. It is like asking if a padlock on your school locker is legal.

    There are rules for a reason and people in power should respect those rules…but given the country we live in…fat chance.

    What I really find hilarious is that the security guards of Dasma in Makati didn’t recognize the present Mayor of Makati. Shows how popular or known our ‘beloved’ mayor really is.

    He really should go out and get to know his constituents like his father the VP did before him, there isn’t a person in Makati that wouldn’t recognize VP Binay.

    1. Exactly!

      The binay kids are lazy and just want to ride on their dad’s shoulders.

      I’m not a binay supporter, but I have to admit that the man knew how to work it when he was rising in power.

  4. It’s good that you have this hope of the Philippines as a community of equals but the truth cannot be further from it. Fact is, crime is high in this country and rich people are prime targets. And forget about relying on police enforcement, they’ll probably rob and kill you faster than those criminals.

  5. It’s not fair to characterize all people who live in gated communities as the evil rich. It’s a security issue. Given the fact that the average Pinoy has a tenuous grasp of the concept of private property, if you’re wealthy there’s a huge target on you and your children’s backs. If the police can’t protect you (and we know they can’t) wouldn’t it make sense to live in a gated community with like-minded people also interested in protecting their families and property?

    Is it legal? If it’s private property, sure.

    The Binays were jerks though. As usual, the powerful think they can get away with anything. Rules and regulations for thee but not for me.

  6. The issue here is the abuse of Power of mayor Binay!! And not of the gated communities. The Filipino people must stop voting for these corrupt politicians for the benefit of all. I know the Filipino people can still rise up! Stop political dynasty!

  7. This article surprises me. In the sense that you question the legality yet you don’t even reference a law stating that it is in fact illegal.

    These private “gated” subdivisions were once low value almost “bare” property. Government gave them exclusive rights to own the plot and develop it as residential community.

    And because of that, the price per sqm of these lots go up. This also actually benefits the government in taxes.

    And these lot owners within this subdivision adhere to the rule of law of the national government and then put on top of it their own rules as a community.

    They also maintain their premises on their own.

    By your logic, we should all be let in any building regardless of whether we should be there. Condominium also prevent you from going in their premises without purpose or clearance as guest from a unit owner.

    This article is very perplexing.

    And there are instances where gated subdivisions do give up right of way for national interest. Tierra Verde along Congressional Avenue is cut in two phases because of a public road extension, And Forbes park is cut into two as well right?

    So these people in gated subdivisions aren’t the evil you should be after.

    1. @17Sphynx17: Well there’s the answer then. The land was parcelled off to developers and given “exclusive rights” to it. I do wonder though: How long is the private leasehold on these parcels of land? In most build-operate-transfer schemes, a piece of infrastructure is usually allowed to be operated privately over a finite period, say 20 years. Then the infrastructure reverts back to the government.

      If “activists” are so adamant about the return of Hacienda Luisita, say, to the farmers, then the same principle is also applicable to these huge tracts of prime land, don’t you think? An even better example is Subic Bay and Clark Field. Using your argument, those facilities can essentially be considered US Government property — because their value today owes itself to the wondrous infrastructure Uncle Sam built there. Just the same, that didn’t stop a bunch of fat-ass Senators from nationalising all that simply because they can. But then that’s because Subic and Clark were not a part of their own personal backyards.

      So you wonder now. Why does the Makati Police suck? Oh yeah, because the tiny elite of Makati society who have the wealth and influence to lobby for a better police force don’t really have any skin in that game. They simply build a wall on the right side of the moat and raise a private army to secure their domain — leaving the public police force to rot under the management of government officials elected by a half-brained electorate.

      1. @Benigno

        They were given exclusive rights by their purchase and went via the proper channels (currently that goes to the HLURB), and the developer bought the land. BOUGHT is emphasized. They then subdivided the lands to have smaller tracts of land (different to farmlands wherein it is large tracts of land) to be sold to multiple individuals.

        You are comparing exclusive subdivisions to haciendas? That has a law as well, CARP. So the transferring of ownership from the farm owner of vast swaths of land to farm workers is a different case altogether. You are comparing a rural to urban setting.

        Exclusive subdivisions are not BOT or PPP. The land developer of the subdivision legally owns the large parcel of non-agricultural land. (legally that is how it works and conversion of agri land is not allowed).

        So it is a different beast altogether for you to lump it with BOT is different.

        I do not get how this equates to the Makati police sucking. Last I heard, you don’t have private armies in any part of Metro Manila. Yes, there are bodyguards, but overstepping the use of these bodyguards gets you into trouble here. You just have to speak up if that is your beef with them.

      2. @Benigno

        The right given is consent via the development permit to do the subdivision, but it isn’t a partnership with the government.

        The LGU does have interest in having these types of subdivisions, whether high or low density, as it improves on their population base and in effect their tax collection.

        But don’t get it confused with PPP or BOT, that’s something you have to throw out of the picture. It isn’t.

        And as I have mentioned, these gated subdivisions do work with LGUs and the national government for national interests. Case in point is the splitting of tierra verde suvdision along congressional avenue into 2 section, to allow Congressional Avenue Extension through. If your beef is traffic.

        However, they will not sacrifice the security of the homeowners just for the sake of letting everyone use the roads where the homeowners are the ones who maintain it along with the security.

        Government works with you in the grand scheme of things. So you should also respect the rights (as long as proper and legal) of the owners within the gated subdivision.

        I mean what wrong have they really done for buying property in a more secure place for their family? I do not see what the problem is.

        1. 17Sphnx17….”Government works with you in the grand scheme of things.” You must be referring road maintenance, garbage collection, fire and police. Gated communities are a testament to the failure of government. In a democracy, the social contract between citizens and authority is: the authority will provide the security and as citizens we will agree to obey the laws. Gated communities are proof that the government has abdicated its most basic responsibility. What you have with gated communities are islands of security in a sea of anarchy and lawlessness. The Philippines is on the edge of revolution. Stop giving Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest and see how long it takes before those gated communities are invaded and plundered.

        2. @17Sphynx17: Nope, I am not confusing the PPP or BOT with the laws that govern private subdivisions. I am merely applying the principle behind the BOT as a context to the regard for gated communities so that we may question the generally-accepted manner with which we see it. Obviously the legalities around the way stakeholders in and of gated communities have secured their interests are down pat. That’s what lawyers are for. But regardless of the legal details, when you step back far enough from those technicalities and see it with the overall scheme of things as a context, you will find that the principles are all the same.

          I think it is really Sea Bee who understands the point I am trying to make here. Taken as a whole the existence of gated communities…

          …are a testament to the failure of government. In a democracy, the social contract between citizens and authority is: the authority will provide the security and as citizens we will agree to obey the laws…

          Gated communities, like jeepneys, are stopgap measures that became institutionalised and so ingrained in the national psyche that, as we see in the general tone of the comments here, people simply find it next to impossible to comprehend the cancerous nature of their existence.

          You really think gated communities are a great thing when seen at a macro level? Look at all those medieval towns that dot Europe — the way a walled castle or palace is surrounded by a town of humble houses. They’re hundreds of years old. Yet the Philippine residential landscape pretty much mirrors those archaic community structures.

        3. @Sea Bee and @ Benigno

          What you both fail to realize is that if these developer did not exist, the road themselves inside their gates would not exist.

          That is why I keep telling you they bought for a tract of land, and subdivided it (which includes allocation of roads in their plan). Read PD957 and BP220 as to the standards they have to adhere to.

          These roads are non-existent nor are the utilities beneath or on them. Therefore, it is not taxpayers money that made them as such they are under no obligation to give way to you just because you want to shortcut through them.

          Taxpayers money does not maintain the roads, nor pay for the “additional” security the community offers in part of its service.

          Last I checked, the outside of these subdivision are not in complete anarchy. That’s exageration.

          The premium you pay for living in these subdivisions is also substantial. There is Association Dues to support the system inside.

          You not only adhere to the national and local code, you also have to adhere to the guidelines within subdivisions before you are able to construct your “dream home” there.

          How are they cancer? They are not cancer and I fail to see how you can call them as such. Please justify.

          The only thing that is lacking here is proper public mass transit. With that, the point of origin of where you live to where you work is not a problem.

          Maybe you are having beef’s with these private subdivision with the bad traffic schemes and labelling existing roads as christmas lanes (As if labels will make the traffic flow faster).

          That is not their fault, it is the fault of being stuck in the archaic system of public transport we have today still in existence.

          Lay by’s on roads are what you need to allow passengers to ingress/egress public transport. That is the proper way of doing the road, so that the stopping bus does not block the one behind him.

          You also don’t allow second lane ingress and egress to happen, they should stick to the lay-by or outermost lane only. Instill that discipline, and you rid the bottleneck that jeeps, taxis and buses create every single time.

          Next in the agenda is removing most of the jeeps on major thoroughfares, these should be bus only traffic because you maximize passenger per sqm of road. You can also go double deck buses along edsa if that is the case. And have a designated time of arrival for each stop. If no passenger need to ingress/egress at the next stop, bus just moves along.

          A type of vehicle like the jeep which has a smaller capacity is for secondary roads not plied by buses. They service that road but start and end at stops where buses also service the stop. This allows transfers to happen.

          This system is not in place here. But if you do that, it will reorganize the whole transport scheme.

          Sadly they don’t want to take that action because someone’s hand is always in the cookie jar that’s going to be affected as it is always self interest of transport groups they want to just keep happy, without looking at the big picture.

          So again, how are gated communities cancer?

        4. You need to step further back, 17Sphynx17. When you say that those roads and utilities/infrastructure will not exist if it weren’t for these private developers it is the same as saying that there would be no public mass transit system in the Philippines if it weren’t for the private jeepney and bus operators who provide those services.

          See the common denominator here? The biggest criticism of the country’s mass transport infrastructure is that it is being provided by the private sector for profit — as you yourself described it: an “archaic” system made up of the equivalent cancers in that industry: rustbucket jeepneys and murderous buses.

          Same can be said for the development of residential communities and the infrastructure and public services that support these. It is also archaic, structured the same way old medieval towns are, where security is provided by private armies and their perimeters fortified by high walls.

          The government had delegated all responsibility for building public social and physical infrastructure to the private sector — whether it be public transport, rescue and relief capability, education, and, the subject of this discussion, management of residential community and infrastructure services and development.

          And so this is what we get — chaotic and haphazard development, administration and operation of just about everything to do with social and community development. Because the cityscape is dotted by vast swaths of inaccessible private gated communities. They are cancerous because they choke the life out of the city.

        5. @Benigno

          Whoever said the updated I am proposing would be government initiated? It is still a private endeavor or a private and government partnership. Ideally it is privately run but they still adhere to rules.

          The issue I have with our mass transport system is efficiency and streamlined effectivity.

          The issue your problem seems to have is actually with density which gated communities tend to be low or medium density at best. R1 or R2 zones.

          The ones choking the life out of the city is improper planning of increasing density without consideration for the support facilities to keep it running smoothly.

          Planning rules and guidelines are in place for a reason. The way the whole is conceptualized is meant to run smoothly as long as it kept within standards.

          However, the current LGUs take little to no regard for this when it comes to allowing high density projects. As such, the infrastructure we have is strained (transport, power, water, sewer etc). They simply modify the rules to whatever favors them which I do not agree with.

          So no, that is not a cancer as you so eloquently put it. I still do not see where you want to go with it.

          You want the american suburbs where you force families to really drive cars to city centers? Be my guest, but I would rather have a properly zoned city with rules adhered to.

          It’s called a Planned Unit Development for a reason. These communities stick to the rules they were designed to be able to cope with. As such, they run smoothly. That isn’t the case outside right? Well, shouldn’t it be that the LGUs should follow how the gated communities work with their rules? Actually follow them and improve on what is found to be ineffective?

        6. @ Benigno

          Also, Yes, without the private the developers, there wouldn’t be the roads you would want to ply inside the gated communities.

          Your argument about the jeeps and bus doesn’t equate because without the jeeps and buses, the roads still exist. Double decker buses can take root, taxis still exist in what way shape or form. And trains can still be added.

          So no, it is not the same. Because the developer doesn’t need an existing infrastructure to exist as he will be developing his own. While the bus and jeeps need an existing road network.

          Anyway, I know this goes back to traffic as you calling it cancer and I will stick to my guns. No they are not cancer.

          Streamline the mass transit system. Whether you have a jeeplike vehicle for secondary roads/routes is still an unknown but maybe a coaster could take that place.

          To service the smaller roads coasters. They link up to national roads/highways where they can transfer to buses (Single/double deck). You also have trains as an option, although to skip the transfer depending on how logical the stops will be for your route.

          The public transport sector just needs an overhaul, and the removing the gates of the gated communities (class A, B or C subdivisions) will not change that.

          Add to that discipline of both the driver and passenger. Yield, give way. Don’t stop where you shouldn’t. No more ME FIRST attitude.

      3. @17Sphynx17, public transport vehicles by themselves do not make up a modern public transport system. As you yourself observed, public transport in the Philippines needs an “overhaul”. That means there needs to ‘ve a comprehensive system to frame each component that forms part of it. Only government can design and implement such a comprehensive system within which individual vehicles and their drivers/owners can operate. When we say public transport infrastructure, said infrastructure consists of both the physical assets and the SYSTEM within which these operate.

        Same principle with urban development. You seem to regard the issue only within the domain of building the physical assets of a city. But from the overall context of building a whole COMMUNITY of which physical assets development is but a mere subset, the delegation of and relinquishing of overall development of community assets — both physical and social — to the private sector has created the same hindrance to coherent urban development that private jeepneys and buses have done to public transport development.

        Note too, that most of Filipinos’ elected officials live within these gated communities. How then do you expect these officials who have no real stake in the bigger community to govern fairly and with the broader interests of the larger community within their higher set of priorities?

        If I were a real activist, I’d campaign for the election of politicians who can demonstrate having true SKIN IN THE GAME — those who live the way the majority Pinoys live and who are subject to the same PUBLIC SERVICES ordinary Pinoys who live outside of gated communities suffer.

        You should start worrying when Pinoy voters start wisening up and start electing politicians who are truly one of them, the ones who are not living a cozy life within these gated communities. When that happens, you may start seeing legislation that could see the advent of the dismantling of these gated communities. Perhaps this is unlikely given how idiotic Pinoy voters behave. But then, who knows…

        1. “Note too, that most of Filipinos’ elected officials live within these gated communities. How then do you expect these officials who have no real stake in the bigger community to govern fairly and with the broader interests of the larger community within their higher set of priorities?

          If I were a real activist, I’d campaign for the election of politicians who can demonstrate having true SKIN IN THE GAME — those who live the way the majority Pinoys live and who are subject to the same PUBLIC SERVICES ordinary Pinoys who live outside of gated communities suffer.

          You should start worrying when Pinoy voters start wisening up and start electing politicians who are truly one of them, the ones who are not living a cozy life within these gated communities. When that happens, you may start seeing legislation that could see the advent of the dismantling of these gated communities. Perhaps this is unlikely given how idiotic Pinoy voters behave. But then, who knows…”

          I won’t be holding my breath for this to happen, sir.

  8. The Bible says we must protect ourselves, thus gated communities are within the teachings of The Lord.

    “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and NOT ALLOWED his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

    (Matthew 24 42-44)

    1. You’ve got to love Pastor Ernie. He is a living testament to the irrelevance of religion. If I remember correctly, his response to Typhoon Yolanda was to organize a crusade to Malaysia and Indonesia to convert the Muslims and Buddhists. What’s next from the “Starbucks Prophet?”

  9. Private property kasi yan sa tingin ko. lahat ng maintenance ay mga residente nagbabayad. Parang condo rin.
    Parang sinabi mo rin na illegal ang paglagay ng Pinto sa ating bahay.
    Saka hindi naman lahat ng gated na community ay mayayaman nakatira. Yung iba no choice lang at iba naman security.
    Pero yung point mo na kung sinakop ang isang public road ay illegal nga.

  10. I hope the so called gated subdivisions are paying taxes on their private road lots to justify their being private property otherwise there is no reason why the road lots should remain private. Perhaps the cities or towns where these premier subdivisions are located can look into this matter.

  11. I’m just curious. How come some homeowners put a gate on their streets even if they are presumably public property as in the streets in Proj. 7 or 8, etc in Quezon City.

    When I was living in Barrio Capitolyo, the homeowners of 3 streets, including ours, put up a gate with security guards to guard the three streets. This is aside from the main gates of Barrio Capitolyo, which allow public traffic to come in.

    Is it legal to just put up a gate even if it’s not part of a private subdivision? They spring up everywhere in QC.

    I wish our street will put up one, too to prevent the jeepneys from coming in.

    1. I live in a non-gated community in Project 8, but I think I can answer your question. The gates are for curfew purposes (at least, in my area). The gates are open during the day and closed for the night so no form of public or private transportation and people (read: tambays) pass through. A majority of neighborhoods in Project 8 complain of loitering, teenage disorder, and “midnight racing” that homeowners’ associations decided to put up gates.

      1. Is it legal to make these public road impassable? These are public roads and are built using taxpayers’ money ergo should be accessible to anyone. If the problem is area security then it is the job of the Barangay to ensure that without sacrificing usage of public roads.

  12. Who is the HEAD of Security in Makati City?

    a. Dasmarinas Village security guards
    b. Head of Dasmarinas Village Homeowners Association
    c. Makati Chief of Police
    d. Mayor of Makati

    (Hint: He is the boss of the Police Chief)

    To the masses, don’t be fooled by the political propaganda of vested interests. This is NOT a case of POOR PEOPLE (Security Guards) vs RICH PEOPLE (the Binays). This is a case of the RICH PEOPLE (the clients-bosses of the Security Guards, the residents of Dasma Village) vs the NON-RESIDENTS of the Village and the ELECTED OFFICIALS OF THE CITY and the REPUBLIC.

    The Security Guards are just pawns of the rich people of the Dasma Village. And these guards are willing to KILL and FIGHT ANYONE to protect their bosses!

    The Guards CALLED for REINFORCEMENTS! One came with a SHOTGUN and others came riding their motorcycles. They were ready TO SHOOT IT OUT with the MAYOR of their CITY!!!

    1. Looking at the video, who intimidated whom? What I saw was a public servant who never showed HUMILITY with the powers given to him. I think that should be taught to all our public officials.

  13. gated communities are about as safe as NAIA.
    the philippines is working hard to keep its position as worlds worst airport by adding murderous to the list of adjectives.
    and together with the rising crime rates, journalist killings, PNP rubouts, private armies, the pervasive gun culture, impunity, and keystone cops the issue is about a culture which remains barbaric at its core and criminal in its values

  14. The PNP is all but invisible in the Philippines. Many of them live in their own gated subdivisions. One reason crime is so rampant is because of their ineffectiveness. It seems most of them are sitting around police stations on their fat asses munching doughnuts. This is giving rise to vigilante groups of thugs like Honansan’s “Guardians.” A major investment and modernization of the PNP is long overdue. As inept as Aquino seems; a vote for Binay would really be going backwards.

  15. These people who live in such subdivision have money to construct walls around their houses. If they are suffering from PARANOIA, because people, like me, will contaminate them, or steal their properties: it is their problem. Gated communities are mostly in Third World countries. Where the gap between, the rich and the poor, is wide. It is also a STATUS symbol. Rich people usually live in such Gated Subdivisions. One way for the rich to flaunt, their Wealth to most of us. Legal or illegal wealth. I know a MAFIOSI who live in a gated subdivision.
    However, this is not the issue of the matter. The issue was the BAD Behavior of Binay, when he was confronted by the security guards.
    LUMABAS NA ANG NATURAL, ANG TARANTADO!!!

    1. Hmmm. You probably never noticed that the bodyguards of Binay are armed also. They even have an assault rifle with them. Security guards are legal, duly-licensed and is a labor intensive industry contributing to the economy. The security guards were following their assigned DUTY. They should be commended, not thrown under the bus like what the owner/president of the security agency did.

  16. “perhaps is a clue to how legally-precarious this notion is — that a vast swath of A-grade road network within a traffic-gridlocked metropolis can be kept inaccessible to the public in order to keep an infinitessimal sector of the society secure and insulated from the problems of the larger community that hosts them.”

    Two words for you – PRIVATE PROPERTY.

    1. I remember the (Forbidden City) Walled City of the last Emperor in China. Walled and forbiden to protect his eyes from seeing the miseries of his people.

    2. yeah… I sort of feel that this article is written haphazardly. Doesn’t make me feel compelled to take the author’s views. “Private property” pretty much sums up all I need to know.

    3. I agree that private property should maintain its exclusiveness to its owners. Its like going inside the mall (a private property), dont allow your bags to be searched, lets see if they will allow you to enter. Private property owners have all the right to secure their properties as well as regulate all who passes through it.

    4. To some extent you are correct unless those roads are part of the country’s road network INSIDE a private subdivision.

  17. Let me guess – you live in either a public subdivision or on a publicly-accessible street and are really envious of the security afforded by the private villages….

    Th reason why we gate OUR subdivisions is we care for the well-being of our families and our properties, well-being which cannot be guaranteed by the local government. If in your opinion, this is unnecessary, well, that’s your opinion and your risk.

    1. @Gated subdivision resident

      Ask Binay, who is the Mayor, to provide such security services. You are paying taxes…maybe your taxes go into his pocket.
      Where is the money that you are paying go.
      This is already the introduction FOR THE Binay adfministration. Same old SHIT, like Aquino administration.
      Do not vote these RASCALS. They are charlatans…

  18. High end or low end everyone makes their house a self contained fortress in the philippines, with gates, spiked railings, glass topped walls, and shutters everywhere. Its like beirut on a national scale.
    Tells you something about the nature of the country and its people.

  19. I am a Filipino living in a gated community in the US. There are many exclusive gated communites in America. There is nothing illegal about it. It is private property. All the roads and security guards within these communities are maintained and paid for by its residents thorough monthly Home Owners’ Association (HOA) fees that the residents must pay. That is the way with. dasmarinas village in Makati. We have our family home there and we pay monthly HOA fees for the maintenance of these roads, as well as for the village security. These roads are private property. They are not part of a Grade-A network of public roads as the writer of this article suggests.

    1. @Floridian

      Gated subdivisions in America, is different from the Philippines, gated subdivisions. In America, there is a middle class, who can afford these gated subdivisions. There are also GHETTOS , in America. Where mostly of the poor live; like in Detroit, Michigan and other big cities. Rampant crimes and drug abuses occur in these Ghetto enclaves.

      In the Philippines. Most of those living in gated subdivisions are wealthy people. It is mostly their PARANOIA of security, and the FEAR of being contaminated with people, like most of us, that they live in such wealthy enclaves. Some are there for STATUS Symbol….PASIKAT…their wealth may have come from legal or illegal sources, like the PORK BARREL taxmoney.

      Thanks God, I do not live in a gated subdivision. I can feel the miseries of my fellow human beings…

      1. @Hyden Toro

        You are generalizing gated subdivisions with just one example or two.

        Gated subdivisions are not limited just your typical dasamarinas village and forbes park.

        That’s basically a class A gated sbudivision.

        You also have class B and C gated subdivisions.

        My examples of Class B Gated subdivisions are Congressional Village, Horseshoe Village, Tierra Verda, Don Mariano etc.

        Class C Gated Subdivisions are those of high density like those of early DMCI, Phinma, Avida etc where it it is not individual house lots for sale within the subdivision but rather condominium units within multiple low to medium rise buildings.

        But they are still gated subdivisions and not just counted as 1 condominium building.

        You also take into account townhouse development wherein they are 6 units or more within a compound but different owners who are not related to each other but adhere to their own rules as well when it comes to what can be done within the compound and they pay for Homeowners Association Dues to maintain their internal road right of way to access the houses inside as well as security and running the lights of what is essentially called “admin line”.

        Hope that clarifies it for you as some of you seem to think that gated subdivisions are uber rich 100 plus thousand per sqm lots. NO! That is not the case and it is not limited to just them.

        1. @17Sphynx17

          We are talking of Dasmarinas Village in Makati, Metro Manila. So, it is a Class A subdivision…where the Binay “do ya know me?” incident occured.

          If there are less expensive gated subdivisions. They are out of the topic. Anyway, I don’t live in such subdivisions…it is like a walled Forbiden City in Beijing, China.

  20. If that is your reasoning sir, then you should pay attention to what the Makati administration is allowing on public roads in Makati. Is it legal to disallow passage on public roads in Makati? Certain times at night side streets there are blocked using gates too but without guards to open them and you have to look for alternate routes to get to your destination. So before you say if it is illegal for private roads to be impassable, take the current Makati administration to task for barring public roads paid for by taxpayers!

    1. this is correct. For the longest time I’ve been wondering who gave these residents permission to block off public streets all over makati.

  21. Sir, your argument of gated communities being illegal is a little flawed. You seem to be presupposing that this A-grade road system is built on public property with public funds, but in fact, as the other comments have pointed out, these road systems are in fact private property and “developed” with private funds. The owners have a right to exclude people from using their roads which they themselves built. Government may expropriate these roads or create easements but only after just compensation.

  22. Simple scenario of having a private road with only one owner.

    A Through Lot – a lot fronting 2 roads (one at front, one at back).

    Plan it with a driveway and a gate on each side.

    Legally and logically, is anyone allowed to use that private stretch of concrete with the excuse of “I don’t want to go X meter to reach the corner to get to the parallel road on the other side, you should let me through your private property and use your private road”?

    That is on the smallest scale you can make gated developments. A lot, it can be a through lot or corner lot with gates on each side fronting a street. Are you legally allowed to use the private road just because you want a shortcut?

  23. People should get the hint: this is only a symptom of a much larger, overarching problem. There are people in gated communities trying to protect their economic security, while there are people outside who have no economic security, and some of them try to steal from those in the gated communities. Which only typifies the great divide. The real problem is the economic inequality that problemizes the country.

  24. This is the worst article you’ve ever written benign0, it is a complete contrast to your other works on this site.

    TWO WORDS: EPIC FAIL.

  25. As you have realised Mr. Author, if you live here in the Philippines and at least middle class, you will want to live in a gate community. Regardless of your historical lessons and philosophical musings on the subject the fact remains that many Filipinos view gate communities as an added layer of security and protection of their private property. A necessity in a country known for thieves not only in the government but also in the streets.

  26. Lets put things in proper perspective on how the video conveyed different messages, its not about who has power money private public, and security its all about human ethics, respect, humility, patience, and understanding, sacrifice, something that a person who claim him self a leader must have. those are the virtues that money and power cannot obtain to one self which most people look up to if respect is what you ask for. Noble leader is something that you rarely see now a days.

  27. BenignO

    Get a grip!!! It’s called private property an fairly easy concept to understand!!! The residents pay for this privacy just as they do living in Condo buildings. Get a grip will you. They are perfectly legal and perfectly in their rights to keep the residents SECURE monied or not. BTW is there something wrong with achieving success?????? Gated communities exist all over the World. Find something intelligent to write about next time.

  28. In my community a group of residents decided to make an association and starts to collect money for condominial purposes and those who don’t want to be a part of the association are brought to court with an allegation of enriching illicitly.And if one is considered guilty then your house will be seized.It happen in Brazil the so called “Falso Condominium” or False Condominium because the cammunity was not planned as condo so many older residents didn’t adhere to the association , now they are brought to court and possibly will lose their hard earned house .

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