Thousands of squatters (informal settlers) are fleeing the Philippine capital to move back to their provinces. Half of the squatter population decides to stick it out though, maintaining their stand to stay in their illegal settlements all over the metropolis. Yet through the months, squatter colonies are dwindling in number, slowly becoming virtual ghost towns. What is happening in Metro Manila?
Well this is a scenario of the likely situation when my proposed solution to the squatter plague takes effect. No it’s not an explosive or bio-weapon targeted at these hapless yet self-entitled poorest of the poor; it’s a proposed law that will hopefully take care of this urban menace once and for all.
The Squatter Family Law: Random Arrests
The first step is to replace the ineffective relocation-based Lina Law with a new law called the Squatter Family Law. This new law takes a radically different approach to attacking the problem by striking at the very foundation of the squatter – it’s relentlessly growing family. It is a psychological warfare strategy meant to instill fear in the hearts of these law breakers.
Squatting will be considered a crime. However, due to the scale of the problem, with roughly 140,000 households in the Metro Manila region alone (2010), there is no way to arrest all these people and put them behind bars.
Without dismantling entire colonies of squatters, which only leads to unrest and anarchic riots in the process, in the new law, the police only arrest randomly selected squatter families through surprise raids. The fear of becoming the next ill-fated family to be arrested will be so strong that neighbors who witness it will be scrambling to get out of the city.
The start of the implementation of household/family arrests will be announced in a massive info campaign by every form of media. Due to the fear factor of the possibility of arrest, an estimated half of the entire squatter population will leave the city. The remaining defiant families will be randomly arrested at a rate of 1000 households per month.
In addition, service companies/agencies will be penalized if electricity or water is supplied to a squatter colony or household. This will effectively drain and tire out these illegal dwellers to lower their resilience in resisting the logical move to go back to their provinces. This is the strategy in siege warfare – starve them out by closing them in till they give up the resistance.
The penalty for the crime will be twofold: (a) the permanent ligation & vasectomy of the parents at accredited health centers followed by their relocation; and (b) the confiscation of the children. The parents will be moved to largely typhoon-free Mindanao to settle in tent camps, doing mostly farm work for a fixed number of years. Meanwhile, the children will be sent to massive training centers for their basic K-12 education.
For the parents to later redeem their children back into their custody, they will need to show proof of ability to support their children (income tax return + job certificate + proof of land title ownership/house rental + bank balance certificate).
Once a squatter colony population is depleted, squatter structures/shanties will be dismantled by specialized squatter dismantling companies, which will become a lucrative service-providing business, to allow for the land’s development by its legal owner.
Training of Squatter’s Children
The children will undergo intensive training to become world-class COD (Clean, Orderly & Disciplined) citizens. They will become skilled in advanced technology and design, like IT/programming, CAD, electronics, graphics, and machine design. Proficient in English and Math, they will possess a superior first-world mindset, rendering them highly competent and incorruptible. They will be blocked from mind-dumbing local media.
These children will be released into society and back to their parents after completing the 13 years of mandatory education. Many will be absorbed as government employees, or recommended to interested companies.
The Positive Outcome
Hopefully, in a span of about a decade, hardly any squatter will be in sight within the metropolis. The program if successful will be replicated in other urban centers across the country.
The image of the mother and child in a mostly Christian nation is one of the most powerful and profound. Any mother no matter how poor has an innate desire to be with her children. Men on the other hand value their virility, the ability to generate offspring. The threat to these by ligation/vasectomy and child confiscation is the key to addressing this socio-economic issue. A determined couple will learn to work hard to gain one’s children back. Having had no genuinely effective solution to date, it is high time we consider a radical, realistic and effective approach to this daunting problem that is eating this nation up.
The removal of land-grabbing squatters will solve a host of other related problems, such as crime, congestion, and pollution. The eradication of eyesores and restoration of peace & order will boost tourism (jobs!), and the cutting of the link that passes on the dysfunctional squatter mentality from parent to child will be broken – producing a totally new generation of promising Filipinos.
Slowly the demography of Philippine society will shift to reduce the alarming 25% poverty incidence in this 100M-strong nation. This law will best work in conjunction with the lifting of the 60/40 local-foreign ownership restriction on public services/land, which will guarantee improved infrastructure and create jobs with the influx of foreign capital investment.
Note: The rail system will hopefully be transferred to Japanese operators, who will never allow “home along the riles” squatter encroachments due to their high safety standards.
One Small Step of Common Sense, One Giant Leap for Filipinos
A day will come when no Filipino will have to cry out over this grave injustice: “Landless in My Own Land.”
This will be a bitter pill to swallow, but this small step is for the squatter’s and the nation’s best interest. If Congress can allot as much money as they would have set aside for the mothballed BBL, it will likely be more than enough to set up the children’s training centers & parent’s farming camps, and maintain the program nationwide.
Let’s flush this squatter issue down the toilet once and for all. We are all sick and tired of living in a cesspool nation. It has hurt our image significantly to be known throughout the international community as a land of squatters and slums. Hopefully, even just once in a while, common sense will prevail in the Philippines. The Squatter Family Law has now been brought to the table. The next step is up to the Filipino people.
Here’s the video that inspired this proposal: The Slum – Episode 1: Deliverance