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Fire victims or not, Makati biz hub squatters must go

/ 10:11 PM July 12, 2013

A day after a fire struck a slum community ironically called Botanical Garden within the Makati City central business district, Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay announced that all residents of the compound, not just those affected by the fire, will be relocated.

“We will prioritize the relocation of all families residing in the area, which has been identified as a danger zone and falls within the areas ordered by President Aquino for immediate clearing as it lies along a creek,” Binay said in a statement on Friday, his 36th birthday.

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Binay ordered the city engineering and environmental office to clear the site of fire debris and put up a fence to prevent the displaced residents from rebuilding their homes in an area surrounded by high-rise structures that included Makati Medical Center.

The shantytown lies within a property owned the National Power Corp. in Barangay (village) Pio del Pilar, where more than a thousand families had settled over the years. It came to be known as Botanical Garden because it used to be a place where ornamental plants were sold, according to the mayor.

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Binay said the residents would be relocated together with other informal settlers from Barangay Tejeros and Bangkal.

Aside from the fire at Botanical Garden, another fire in Makati damaged a building in Barangay San Antonio on Thursday.

The displaced residents were given temporary shelter on Amorsolo Street, with the city social welfare department and barangay officials providing tents, beddings, clothes and relief goods. Jaymee T. Gamil

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TAGS: Fire, informal settlers, Makati fire, Metro, squatters
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