MANILA - Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday that he will prohibit the demolition of illegal settlements unless residents are given proper relocation first.
"Simula ngayon, walang tao dito sa Pilipinas ang i-evict mo or i-demolish mo hanggang walang malipatan," Duterte promised before a gathering of reporters in Davao City.
Duterte added that during his stint as Davao mayor for 22 years, he had asked real estate developers to allocate a budget for the relocation of residents who will be affected by their projects.
He encouraged other local governments to do the same. "That's the drill in Davao. So why don't you just follow it also?" he said.
In an interview with radio dzMM last December, Duterte has said the relocation of informal settlers should include economic activities that would encourage them to stay in relocation areas.
"Itong relocation, would need, siguro, a 20-year plan. Hindi ito pwedeng isang presidente na six years lang. Gagawa ka ng satellite cities, o paglipat mo 'yung mga industries to decongest Manila. But you have to build economic activity of a certain place. 'Pag walang trabaho, babalik ng babalik 'yung mga tao. Eventually, 'yung binigay mo na lupa sa relocation, ipagbili niya 'yan tapos babalik siya at maghanap ng pwesto dito," he said.
"Kung saan mo ilagay 'yan sila, there must be an economic activity. Kasi 'pag hindi, hindi 'yan pupunta doon, babalik nang babalik 'yan. Hindi mo mahinto 'yan," Duterte added.
He also believes that informal settlers should fear the government to make them follow the law.
As an example, Duterte said he was able to keep the drainage system in Davao City clean by threatening to evict illegal settlers living along the river.
"I will remove you from where you are, and I will send you doon sa housing na nilagyan ko ng palengke. That's your penalty.
"Kailangan matakot talaga, sumunod. Ang problema kasi, walang sumusunod. Kailangan kapag sinabi ni Duterte na sundin mo 'yun, isang salita lang," he said.
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