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Parañaque City Mayor Florencio Bernabe, Jr. (second from left) is awarded a water-themed painting by Artist Ivan Acuña; the MWSI Special Partnership Award; and a plaque of recognition from Maynilad officials (from left) President and CEO Victorico P. Vargas, Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chief Operations Officer Herbert M. Consunji and Chief Finance Officer Randolph T. Estrellado during the 5th Anniversary Celebrations of the Maynilad Water Services Inc. which was held recently at the SM Mall of Asia. The Special Partnership Award was given in recognition of the contribution of the Parañaque City Government and Mayor Jun Bernabe for the continued expansion of MWSI water services in the city. (Photo By: Jun Budlat)
National Capital Region

PIA Press Release
Friday, January 20, 2012

Create committees on squatting, mayors urged

by Jerome Carlo R. Paunan

MANILA, Jan. 20 (PIA)-- Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse M. Robredo has urged city and municipal mayors nationwide to create local committees against squatting syndicates and professional squatters (LCASSPS) in their respective localities to intensify the campaign against illegal activities of professional squatters.

“The government is very serious in addressing the problem and it needs the active participation of local government units through the creation of their LCASSPS,” Robredo said in a directive he issued to all city and municipal mayors including those in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

He explained that the proliferation of professional squatters and squatting syndicates has been rampant not only in the urban areas but in the rural areas as well.

The local committee, according to the DILG chief, shall serve as the operating arm of the National Drive Against Professional Squatters and Squatting Syndicates (NDAPSSS) in combating the squatting problem at the local level.

He said local governments under Republic Act 7279, otherwise known as the Urban Development and Housing Act, are mandated to adopt measures to effectively curtail the nefarious and illegal activities of professional squatters and squatting syndicates.

The LCASSPS shall be headed by the city or municipal mayor, with the local chief of police, a representative of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), the president of the PCUP-accredited urban poor organization, the duly designated or deputized representative of the HUDCC, the president of the Liga ng mga Barangay of the municipality or city, and a representative from the private sector, as members.

Among the committee’s functions are to adopt the necessary measures to identify and effectively curtail the activities of professional squatters and squatting syndicates, identify the names of public officials, private individuals or entities suspected of abetting or tolerating squatting, provide legal assistance to victims of professional squatters and squatting syndicates, investigate cases of violation of laws or rules on eviction and demolition and monitor eviction and demolition activities.

Robredo also directed all DILG regional directors to submit quarterly reports about the identified professional squatters and squatting syndicates, demolition and eviction activities covered by the LCASSPS within their regional assignments. (DILG/RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)

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