Cities balk at proposal for LGUs to give aid to evicted informal settlers
Ortigas Business district dwarfs slum area in Pasig Floodway on May 25, 2020.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Cities balk at proposal for LGUs to give aid to evicted informal settlers
( - October 28, 2020 - 6:01pm

MANILA, Philippines — The League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) balked at a proposal for local government units to provide aid to evicted informal settlers, saying that this is a “tall order” for them as not all cities have the financial capacity to give assistance.

“Cities’ funds are limited and would be unable to fund the financial assistance required for the ISFs (informal settler families),” said Miki Monterde of the LCP at a House hearing on Wednesday.

Under several bills pending in the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development, the local government units will relocate underprivileged and homeless citizens within 45 days after a final court order for demolition or eviction.

If this is not possible, the local government unit will instead give them financial assistance equivalent to two months of the minimum wage for non-agricultural workers.

“[This] is a tall order for the cities as it assumes that all cities have an existing relocation site or a ready budget to fund the financial assistance to fund the relocated dwellers,” Monterde said.

The LCP said there should be additional provisions on providing financial support, a clear funding source and capacity-building for cities to be able to meet the demands of the bills.

“We plea to this committee to understand the plight of cities and the reality that not all cities are created equal, nor do they have uniform and equal financial standing,” Monterde said. — Xave Gregorio

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