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VP Binay: Inaction on illegal settling is an offense

By OVP Media
June 22, 2013

PASAY CITY – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said inaction by local officials on the proliferation of illegal settlers in their jurisdiction can be considered an offense.

“Local government official ako nang matagal. Alam namin na may responsibilidad kami diyan. Inaction is an offense,” he said during an interview Friday at the Coconut Palace.

Before becoming vice president, Binay served Makati City as mayor for 24 years. He currently chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

Binay warned that officials who allow the number of illegal settlers to balloon in their area may be meted with administrative sanctions.

“I suppose at least may warning ‘yon. Kasi inaction ‘yon, ‘yong tolerance,” he added.

The Vice President, however, acknowledged that the country’s policy on putting an end to illegal settling had been inconsistent.

“Noong 1986 hanggang sa ‘90s, ilang beses binago. Oops, extension ng one year. Oops, walang tatanggalin. Oops, ‘yon nga, may eleksyon. May mga nangangako na hindi kayo (paaalisin). Gagawan ng paraan, etcetera, etcetera. Yun naman ang mga nakaantala dun,” he said.

Binay stressed that the government should be firm in its policy on how to address the issue.

He also appealed to prospective barangay official candidates not to use the elections in October to tolerate illegal settling.

As of 2011, Metro Manila has 104,219 informal settler families (ISF) living in danger areas, primarily waterways.

President Benigno Aquino III had approved a P50 billion budget for the housing program for ISFs.

The program, which is intended to be completed by 2016, provided for in-city, near-city and off-city resettlement.

Currently, the National Housing Authority has 10 multi-level low-rise housing projects in various stages of development and construction that will generate some 6,426 housing units for Metro Manila ISFs.