Philippines erects wall to obscure view of slums

2012-05-03 09:18

Delegates attending an international conference in the Philippines capital may not see what they came to discuss: abject poverty.

A makeshift, temporary wall has been erected across a bridge on a road from the airport to downtown Manila that hides a sprawling slum along a garbage-strewn creek.

Presidential spokesperson Ricky Carandang defended the wall’s installation, saying today “any country will do a little fixing up before a guest comes.”

He expressed hope that this week’s annual meeting of Asian Development Bank Board of Governors, which includes finance ministers and senior officials from 67 member states, would show the Philippines was open for business.

The lending institition, which is headquartered in its own walled compound in Manila, aims to cut poverty in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We need to show our visitors that Metro Manila is orderly. We owe it to ourselves,” said metropolital Manila chief Francis Tolentino.

“I see nothing wrong with beautifying our surroundings. We are not trying to keep the poor out of the picture,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from ADB.

The Philippine Communist Party recalled that former first lady Imelda Marcos – notorious for her ostentatious lifestyle – was ridiculed for trying to hide squatter colonies.

She erected similar whitewashed walls along the route of foreign visitors to the Miss Universe pageant held in Manila in 1974, and other international events.

“The government should face reality. If they don’t, how will they know the problem, how will they solve the problem,” said Renato Reyes, secretary general of the largest left-wing group Bayan.

“By covering the truth, they lose the energy or intention to resolve the problem.”

About a third of Manila’s 12 million residents live in slums, and a third of 94 million Filipinos live below the poverty line of $1.25 a day.

Overall, more than half the population in Asia remains poor.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.