PNoy orders removal of families living illegally on waterways
Singson said that there are 125,000 families living in homes built on or around Metro Manila waterways and about 60,000 to 70,000 families around Laguna Lake “na dapat wala doon.” He also noted families in Rizal and the Pampanga Delta who have to leave.
“They have to be removed,” he said in a Palace press briefing on Monday, but did not specify exactly which areas will be cleared out, nor when.
Singson only said that a moving-out deadline for the residents will be set.
The government has regularly advised people not live near danger zones susceptible to heavy flooding for their own safety.
“[M]ay mga batas na tayo diyan...[A]ng problema diyan, may mga nakikita kaming may mga kabahayan doon sa natural floodplains, ano, at talagang high-risk areas ‘yon. Dapat wala sila doon, ano, so this will have to be addressed,” Singson also said.
The DPWH Secretary said that homes built illegally on the Pampanga Delta worsened the flooding caused by typhoon Pedring last year.
The resulting floods prompted the government to start removing the structures, even if it meant demolishing them through blasting.
The DPWH chief said that during the administration of former President Fidel V. Ramos, the military was ordered to blast illegal fish pens in various waterways for the purpose of flood mitigation efforts.
Singson said that the government may have to resort to the same action again. “So we have started removing and I just received instructions from the President that [if] push comes to shove, we will have to blast ‘yung mga kabahayan doon kung hindi pa sila aalis within a certain period,” he continued.
Heavy rains drenched Metro Manila and many parts of Luzon last week, leaving several places flooded and hundreds of thousands of people affected.- BM/HS, GMA News