On Illegal Settlers
July 28, 2012 10:01am CST
We see them everywhere here, and I'm sure other countries have their own share of illegal settlers or "squatters". Their situation may be a result of a number of reasons from plain bad luck or brought upon themselves somehow. I saw my former professor today. We had a few minutes' chat and I was a bit saddened by her news. Apparently, years ago, she decided to help the people living in the dumpsite on her hometown. Since she's working in the agency who's incharge of government housing and such at that time, she decided to make it her personal project. She helped those families living in the dumpsters to have their own parcel of land. From documentation to approval, she was hands on in everything. She even begged and go after politicians so that her project may take effect. After a few years of hard work and her being from a good family who have good relationship with most people in their local government, she was able to help 17 families to be given their own small parcel of land and build their house. Small yet a place they can call their own. She was so happy and she shared the project with those "big-timers" who made it all possible. After 10 years, she returned to her hometown (she married and they decided to settle in Manila and raise their family). When she visited the housing site, she was surprised to see that she saw faces that weren't familiar with her. When she asked those names that she knew used to live there, the new homeowners said that they have bought the lands from them. There are a few who were still there and from what she gathered, it seems most of the original families, the very same ones she helped out of the dumpster, are back there at the dumpsite again. They built make shift houses with various scraps of construction materials. She was so heartbroken because most of them pawned off and lost their homes just so they can have money to send a kid to work abroad (who by the way also returned because of failure to secure an employment abroad), to buy new electronic stuff, to start up a small business which failed to profit, and there was one guy who even said he remembered as a kid that his dad pawned the title for a magic sing. I was speechless; I didn't know how to comfort her. I managed to say I'm sorry this happened. As we parted ways, I can't help but feel a bit disappointed with those people she helped. Now they're all back from where she has helped to get out of. What's your take on illegal settlers?