Philippines to move squatters to avoid from typhoon


MANILA: The Philippine government plans to remove almost 20,000 illegal settlers living in danger zones like waterways in Metro Manila within the year to avoid annual casualties during the typhoon season, a government official said Monday.

Quoting Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda as saying at a press briefing on Monday, China's Xinhua news agency reported the government would be providing each illegal settler family living in the waterways 18,000 pesos (US$410) in rent on a staggered basis in the next six months or until the houses where they would be relocated have been completed.    

He said as the rainy or typhoon season comes, there's a danger of them being washed away.     

At least 4,000 of these identified settler families had already agreed to be relocated in an area where the National Housing Authority has already started construction of houses. Nearly 500 families have already moved out. The government wants to finish the relocation by the end of the year.    

Manila is one of the world's biggest cities with a population of close to 14 million. Unofficial statistics showed there are three million squatters who come from the provinces seeking a better life in Manila, but most of them had to live in squatter camps in the end. -- BERNAMA

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