On August 15, 2022, the City of Bacoor formally declared war against professional squatting syndicates through the approval of City Ordinance No. 215-2022 by the Sangguniang Panlungsod which prohibits the construction of new informal settler dwellings in the entire city.
Due to its proximity to Metro Manila, Filipinos from all walks of life began migrating to Bacoor during the 1990’s to build their homes and raise their families. The influx of new residents to Bacoor continues to this day leading to the identification of the city as a “bedroom community”.
Lamentably, Bacoor also attracted professional squatting syndicates who preyed on absentee land owners and economically challenged families looking for cheap accommodations. Due to the nefarious activities of squatting syndicates, Bacoor now hosts thousands of informal settler families many of whom reside in areas prone to flooding, storm surges, and earthquakes.
“The city government will no longer condone the activities of professional squatting syndicates who abuse the naivete of the urban poor and deprives landowners of their right to make use of their properties,” explained Councilor Alde Pagulayan when he was asked why he sponsored the approval of CO 215-2022. “Panahon na po na sugpuin natin ang masamang gawain ng mga sindikato upang ang ating pamahalaang lungsod ay makapag-focus sa mas mahalagang trabaho na magbigay ng maayos at marangal na pabahay para sa ating mga naghihikahos na kababayan nang walang pangamba na may mga magsusulputan na mga bagong barong-barong sa mga lugar na binakante ng mga kababayan nating na-awardan ng libre o murang pabahay,” added the chairperson of the Committee on Housing and Land Utilization during his sponsorship speech for the approval of the ordinance.
Through the said ordinance, barangay officials are now required to take active measures in preventing the construction of illegal structures in areas within their respective jurisdictions which is usually how squatting syndicates urban blights in various urban centers.