The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - The government will forcibly relocate some 195,000 families - "blast" their homes if needed - from waterways in Metro Manila and around Laguna de Bay, for their own protection as well as to help mitigate against floods in and around the metropolis.
"They have to be removed," Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said on Monday after presenting a P352-billion flood control and mitigation masterplan to President Benigno Aquino III.
Later, he said: "I just received instructions from the President that if push comes to shove, we will have to blast these houses."
Singson said there are some 125,000 families currently living along Metro Manila waterways, and at least 70,000 more living in flood-prone areas around Laguna de Bay.
"Obviously, (relocation) needs very strong political will," Singson said. "Local government units should not allow families from taking residence in (or along) waterways within their jurisdiction."