Sunday, May 08, 2011

Aquino to lease land to 560,000 squatters

This program, IMO, is very good. Good intentions, creative and out of the box. I feel there is hope in Philippine governance if this gets implemented.

1. I also suggest that since travel is "most" of the time two way. The government should increase current fares by 50% going to Manila and Cebu, and should reduce fares by 50%, travels from Manila and Cebu to provinces. Make it expensive to visit the capital and make it cheap going out. Many people and families wants to go back to their respective provinces but are hindered by high fares.

2, The DSWD should also have a desk at Bus Terminals and have a program of providing "relocation allowance" to families that want to relocate to provinces.

The idea is to make it easy, cheap, and affordable for squatter families to relocate to the provinces.


Here is the article from PDI:

By Norman Bordadora

Imagine relocating your family from a 20-square meter shanty in the congested city, to a two-hectare farm in your home province where you can earn a decent living.

President Aquino on Saturday night told the media about a government plan meant to solve Metro Manila’s problem of informal settlers while shoring up the population in the country’s agricultural communities to boost the drive for food self-sufficiency.

“There is a problem on one side. There is also an opportunity. So what is the opportunity? The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have made an inventory. We can give each of those 560,000 (informal settlers) families two hectares each,” President Aquino said.

In an informal talk with reporters covering his working visit in Jakarta, Mr. Aquino said there are more than 560,000 squatter families in Metro Manila and it is estimated that one of four residents in Metro Manila is an informal settler.

Meantime in the countryside, the number of farmers is going down to the detriment of the government’s food security efforts.

Mr. Aquino said providing the land could be covered by a lease agreement. He said the two departments have identified 1.5 million hectares for distribution to the squatters who would avail themselves of the program to relocate possibly to their respective home provinces.

The priority beneficiaries, he said, are the informal settlers that live dangerously, such as those in floodways.

“The terms are that a house would be provided for you, you’d have to plant crops, you’d take care of them, and the earnings would all be yours. If you abandon the property or you didn’t meet (the conditions), it would be taken away,” President Aquino said.

Mr. Aquino added that the program could be done in such a way that there is a degree of matching an informal settler family and the property such that the family would be returning to its home province.

“The Department of Agriculture said that to a large degree they can be matched,” President Aquino said.

Mr. Aquino said the residents who would avail themselves of the program would also be provided with farm inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and implements.

“It’s a complete package,” President Aquino said.

Mr. Aquino would not go through the terms of the provisions, whether they would be a grant or a loan.

He said the agencies involved in the plan, including the National Anti-Poverty Commission, were still drawing up the programs that were expected to be completed in a month’s time and would presented to the urban poor groups that in turn would present them to the concerned communities.