‘Drive Out Professional Squatters’, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)
Aguila defined professional squatters as those who were able to avail of the low-cost housing program of the government but sell the property and go back to their original squatting status and then ask again for another housing relocation project.
“They are those who intrude into the socialized housing area of the government. This is why the HUDCC is instituting a nationwide campaign to suppress and eradicate professional squatters and squatting syndicates, as per Executive Order 153 signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” he said.
Aguila also said, top areas where squatting and syndicated squatting are rampant are in the urban centers like the National Capital Region, Cebu, Davao and other urban centers.
The Task Force Demolition that will implement the eradication of squatters and squatting syndicates is comprised by the local government, the police, housing office, urban poor associations and others.
“Why professional squatters continue to exist? Because they earn a living once they sell the socialized housing unit availed from the government, and they prefer to be squatters again,” he added.
Bacolod City Legal officer Atty Joselito Bayatan said, they are concentrating on the relocation of informal settlers including the provision of water services by coordinating with BACIWA. “But with the guidelines in eradicating squatters and squatting syndicates, this will be acted upon through legislations by the councilors before we can run after the professional squatters,” Bayatan said.
Bacolod City Councilor Renecito Novero said he will introduce in the local council a measure to start the drive against professional squatters and squatting syndicate following the procedures and guidelines.* (Edith B. Colmo)