President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has to do what ought to be done. Showing rare political will, the president asks Vice President Noli de Castro to prepare a draft for the revocation of the proclamation establishing the settlement called Lupang Arenda, even if it would mean displacing multitude of residents.
Lupand Arenda was established when former President Fidel Ramos issued Proclamation 704 and opened some 200 hectares of public lands in protected wetlands to accommodate the growing number of illegal settlers in Metro Manila.
The settlement lies at the shorelines of Laguna de Bay and lies along the natural lake water egress to Manila Bay along the Napindan Channel.
The opened wetlands, separate sources say remain water logged for the rest of the six months in a year, and should not have been opened as residential area in the first place.
By revoking the Presidential Proclamation 704, the President hopes she could keep these lives away from the dangers posed by rising lake water levels and the flash floods that has washed away dwellings in the area during the recent storms hitting Manila
During the recent meeting held in Loboc Bohol, the President and her cabinet talked about disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness and climate change in the wake of the recent disastrous floodings in Manila and surrounding areas.
At the Full Cabinet meeting held at the Loboc Children's Palace, acted on Vice President's recommendation to clear the area and relocate the residents.
Recent changes in climate elevated the average lake water level to 12.5 meters, making several dry areas at the Lupang Arenda prone to flooding.
The patch of land lies along the natural waterway between Laguna Lake and Napindan Channel.
Recent floodings in Metro Manila areas also pushed more water through the channel, washing out many squatter dwellings, necessitating government intervention to keep residents safe.
Vice President Noli de Castro told the Cabinet that Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) now bans the return of the 60,000 families to Lupang Arenda. Lupang Arenda also blocks the natural pathway between Laguna Lake and Napindan Channel. (PIA)