Shanties up for demolition for Manila Bay cleanupPhilippine Daily Inquirer
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Department of Public Works and Highways is demolishing 654 shanties built along the dikes of the mouth of Manila Bay in Pampanga and Bulacan provinces starting June 18 to ease floods and clear waterways there, an official said.
Antonio Molano Jr., DPWH director in Central Luzon, said due for demolition are 80 houses in Macabebe town and 562 houses in Masantol, both in Pampanga, and 12 houses in Hagonoy town in Bulacan.
Molano said the agency scheduled the demolition after the families received their third notice in May and consultations with village leaders, mayors and representatives of the Commission on Human Rights, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor were finished.
Little resistance was expected because the DPWH went through due process, he said.
The families were not offered resettlements because they had been relocated during the implementation of the Pampanga Delta development project, which widened the mouth of the Manila Bay to 750 meters.
Molano said the removal of illegal structures complies with the order of the Supreme Court to various agencies in 2008 to clean the Manila Bay.
He said the DPWH had also deployed four dredgers to remove silt at the delta to hasten the flow of floodwater toward the bay. The DPWH and local government would next remove illegally built fish pens and ponds, he said.
A DPWH inventory also showed that 733 structures encroach on several waterways in Nueva Ecija province.
Region-wide, the agency identified 3,807 houses, factories and fish pens on waterways, which were seen to have slowed down the draining of floodwater triggered by strong rains dumped by Typhoons “Pedring” and “Quiel” last year. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon