It's been a while since the article “8 Mind-Blowing Realities No One Told You About Informal Settlers” was published on 8-List, probably as a defense for squatters (Sorry, I do not accept “informal settlers.” Maybe “illegal settlers” is better). I couldn't immediately put my foot on what's wrong with the article, though I said that it seemed “leftist.” I was not able to explain how it seemed “leftist.” With a little more time available now, I'm able to make a brief point-by-point rebuttal of this article which, though well-written, seems misguided in my view.
8. Informal Settlers Pay for where they live – Maybe some but
not all. There is actually the case of professional squatters. Those who rent out their “houses” that are not really theirs,
but they earn the money, instead of the lot owner. It results in a
sort of “double squatting.” That is unjust.
7. Informal settlers hold legitimate jobs - Some, but not all.
Also, holding a job does still does not entitle you to live on land
that is not yours, unless the land or dwelling owner agreed to let
you live there.
6. Informal settlers do pay taxes - Some, but not all. Those who
pay taxes had better campaign for the government to give them what is
in the next item:
5. Affordable and accessible public housing gets rid of slums –
I agree public housing is a solution. Too bad the last project like
this, like the Bliss project, went dead, and practically nothing replaced it.
Also, not all squatters are accepting the affordable housing –
since some of them want “free” not affordable housing. Lastly,
giving houses for free does not register well with taxpayers, who are
experiencing great difficulties with urban life today. But I an open
to squatters buying the land from its owners, if they can afford it,
and if the owner is willing.
4. Squatting is older than you think – but that does not
de-problematize it. It only means it is an old problem, but is still
3. Barangays attract informal settlers for votes – Basically,
the problem of politicians getting votes from squatters. Then this
should be challenged, perhaps through reform of the electoral
2. Informal settlers are messy but efficient – Efficient in
what? Making a mess. This things highlighted, like recycling stuff
and living in small crowded spaces, can also be problems. Like they
may recycle old rusted metal that can cause disease or collapse
structurally, and small crowded space increase the risk of disease
contagion. The problem with this is that it will lower the standard
of life for the squatters. And if the next item is spread, this lower
standard may spread to everyone.
1. Informal Settlers are the future of urban living – This
opinion can be argued against. Just because squatting ( and someone
attached the fancy term “autocatalytic city” to squatting) is
becoming more common doesn't mean it isn't a problem. It still is.
For example, crowded cities increase pollution. Perhaps the article's
author is using the population growth argument to support the
Reproductive Health Law. No, the problem is “pagsiksik,” or
1. Article seems to imply that squatters should be left alone and
even embraced. Something like, since there will often be poor people
around, stop making solutions for poverty. Thus, the social problems
associated with squatting remain unsolved. Promotion of inaction?
2. Article seems to imply that the taxpayers and those who own
land should provide land to those without – which is a tenet of
socialism and communism. Some claim it is based on the Christian
principle of giving to the needy. But this can be argued against. The
Bible talks about feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and elderly
and giving clothes to those lacking them... but it didn't say give
land to those without. Also, just because you don't own land doesn't
mean you're needy.
3. The supposed “8 Mind-blowing realities no one told you about
informal settlers” are not mind-blowing, are not realities that we
should necessarily accept and... it's not true no one told me. Anyone
who is thinking can see them without being told... and can think
Some have argued that people should not own land, and all land
should be public (communism, perhaps old-style tribal codes). If
someone believes that, then they should give up the land they own and
see if they can look for someplace to stay. Chances are, they won't
and will keep moving. This is likely to result in caveman-nomad
living, which may bring back people to the stone ages, because people
can't simply hold down a home where they can focus on development.
What I want: Return Presidential Decree 772 or the Anti-Squatting
law. Squatting is wrong, any which way you see it.