Duterte’s order covers those living within 40 meters of coastal border
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the immediate eviction of residents living on coastal easements within 40 meters of the shoreline to prevent loss of lives and damage to property during natural calamities such as Typhoon Odette.
“It will be a summary eviction,” the President said in a recent command conference with military and police officials in Cebu.
“Don’t wait for the court to issue an order. They [residents] will usually seek court intervention through a writ of injunction. Let us just tell the judge: ‘You know, Judge, this is what the government wants [to do] to protect its citizens,” Duterte said.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año reported to Duterte that some residents living along coastal easements have resisted efforts to have them relocated despite an existing law that there should be no housing structures within 40 meters of the shoreline.
“We will work with the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the National Housing Authority. We have to implement that law. That was our lesson learned from super typhoon Yolanda [in 2013],” Año said.
Duterte directed the NHA to provide P100 million in aid each to the provinces devastated by Odette.
He said the DILG will supervise the distribution “to make sure that everything goes smoothly.”
“The building materials are on their way. I think Housing will be the one to distribute that.”
“The military and the police will be there to maintain peace and order. That’s the only reason, nothing else. They’re just there to ensure discipline so that government workers can do their job well,” he said.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development said Odette, which at one point was classified as a super typhoon, destroyed 108,082 homes across Visayas and Mindanao.
Some 216,371 houses sustained partial damage.
In Eastern Visayas, around 85 percent of houses in Southern Leyte were damaged, Danilo Atienza of the province’s disaster council said.
In the far south, Tubajon, Dinagat Islands Mayor Fely Pedrablanca said almost all homes in the entire town had been damaged due to Odette.
“Only nine were really not damaged. The rest of the over 2,000 households were really damaged. Around one-fourth of the homes are totally damaged,” Pedrablanca said in an earlier interview.
“Everywhere you will see houses flattened to the ground or their rooftops blown away,” added Charlito Manlupig, chairman of the Balay Mindanaw Foundation.