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Gov’t hit for ‘fencing poverty’ during ADB meet


‘FENCING POVERTY’. A resident pedals his tricycle, locally known as "pedicab", past a wall covered with a tarpaulin poster of the ongoing 45th Annual Board of Governors meeting of the Asian Development Bank at suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines, Thursday May 3, 2012. Behind the wall is the slum along a garbage-strewn creek. (AP and RUEL PEREZ/Radyo Inquirer 990AM)

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s move to fence a poor community along the stretch of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport all the way to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), venue of the ongoing annual meeting of Asian Development Bank Board of Governors, has drawn criticism from human rights and militant groups.

“By blocking off struggling families behind a fence, the Philippine government is sending the message that dire poverty can just be ignored,” Jessica Evans, senior international financial institution advocate at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement Friday.

“Instead of trying to hide the poor, the Philippine government should be pressing the bank to tackle poverty head on,” Human Rights Watch added.

“No amount of high walls from the Philippine government can conceal poverty. The reality is that poverty is on the rise and cosmetic changes cannot hide this,” militant group Bagong Alyansang Makbayan (Bayan), said in a separate statement.

The government defended the fence, saying the construction is a “little fixing up” and that the “government needs to show that Metro Manila is orderly.”

Presidential Press Secretary Ramon Carandang said in a report by the Associated Press (AP) that “any country will do a little fixing up before a guest comes.”

“We are not trying to keep the poor out of the picture,” Francis Tolentino, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman, said in the same report. “I see nothing wrong with beautifying our surroundings,” he said.

An estimated 4,000 participants from the finance sector, private sector, civil society activist among others, gathered in Manila for the meeting that began May 2 and would end May 5.

The wall, a fence draped with Philippine tourism tarpaulins, was built in April.

The slum community has been there even before President Benigno Aquino III took office back in 2010.

The Human Rights Watch interviewed residents in the slum community and found out that a local government official had told them not to loiter near the highway so they won’t be seen.

The resident said they were not complaining because they were afraid of being demolished.

Some of the residents in the slum community are beneficiaries of the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program that is being financed by the ADB, Human Rights Watch said.

Bayan said in their statement that the CCT was not working to alleviate poverty. Bayan cited the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey which showed 11.1 million Filipino families consider themselves poor, an increase from 9.1 million families in December last year.

“The latest survey on poverty is a rebuke of the Aquino government and the ADB. The chronic problem shows that the economic impositions of lending agencies like the ADB and World Bank are not working for the people,” Renato Reyes Jr, Bayan Secretary General, said in their statement.

“The theme of the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting is the importance of inclusive growth,” Evans of Human Rights Watch said. “But the very poor, as this incident shows, have been shunted out of sight. Let’s hope that they are not shunted out of mind.”

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.

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. AP

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Tags: ADB annual meeting , ADB Board of Governors , Asian development bank , Bayan , Human Rights Watch , Ninoy Aquino International Airport , Politics , Poverty , protest

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QZZKXPEA67I7HELEIYM35QVYFA Jon

    the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey which showed 11.1
    million Filipino families consider themselves poor, an increase from 9.1
    million families in December last year.

    2 million new self-rated poor families in a year’s time?
    That must be a record, even for you Pwehnoy.
    No wonder this country’s going down the sewer in a hurry.
    If it can’t even accept reality, how does this this administration even begin at improving it?
    In fact, Pwehnoy deserves a new title because of this: Denial King.   

  • laguar

    If the palace spin doctors haven’t come out yet with a new slogan,  here’s a corny one – Bakuran ang Kahirapan.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OJWHBJLMWPTRUOZMN6JOMHLO2A Banana Na

    cute din ang government ni Pnoy, nagtayo pa ng FENCING WALL para di makita ang poverty ng ADB FOREIGN OFFICIAL…sabihin mo sa allies mo sa US CNN na wag palaging pumupunta sa mga squatters area at doon nag-e-interview at breno-broadcast pa nila sa T.V. ng CNN…HAA lipat mo na kasi ang NAIA sa MAKATI para pag-landing palang ng airplane ay makikita na ng mga ADB OFFICIAL ang ka-gandahan ng pilipinas…puro matataas na building…wag mo lang sila pumunta at sumakay ng LRT rrom RECTO STATION TO CUBAO…makikita nila sa window ng LRT na lumang-luma na ang mga bahay sa manila pag-tumingin pa sila ng malayo                                                                       na maraming matatas na buidling that is MAKATI, KUNG ipapasyal mo sila ay dapat sa gabi para madilin, di nila makita ang poverty dito sa manila…Haaa

  • bahaykubo1015

    “Gov’t hit for ‘fencing poverty’ during ADB meet”
     WOW AND I THOUGHT IT WAS ONLY IMELDA MARCOS WHO DID THAT, fencing in the slum areas out of view every time we have important visitors coming!!!!!

  • bahaykubo1015

    Jon: “In fact, Pwehnoy deserves a new title because of this: Denial King” 
    You’re right Jon, Abnoy is in denial indeed. He doesn’t seem to realize that under his watch Phil. Economic Growth Rate tumbled down to 3.7% from a previous high of 7.3% in 2010.
    During Abnoy’s term, the economic growth rate went down to 3.7% mas maraming ang nagugutom at mas marami ang nawalan ng trabajo.

  • Ommm

     Totally agree with the Human Rights Watch folks…why else would  would they choose to have a convention of this nature in the Philippines than to exhibit the perfect backdrop to the subject at hand?

    Let them see the shanties and children defecating in open ditches. Let them smell the stagnet water and observe the garbage choked waterways. Let them vomit at the experience and never forget what they saw…then they may actually do something about it…

    • to0

      This is what we get allowing the Chinese in our business and in our government. Even in the Cemetery, you will notice the disparity between a Filipino and the Chinese. The Filipinos has ordinarily have the usual burial while the Chinese has musselium like a small mansion fitted with aircon and living room, bathroom, and with a frigs and aircon. Wala talaga tayo. Some call our country, bayan ng mga utouto, others call us a “Nation of Slaves.”

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JEMNLLYAP5EA7SM3A6QUOGV62Q Chris

        Because we want to.. we never yearned to be better..”ganito lang kasi ako”… hayy buhay..

      • to0

        No way, Filipino will strive no matter what. Look at the technical experts in Singapore, many are graduates from UP. One has been accepted in a delicate but lucrative position in Canada with an educational background of Genetic Engineering. I have a classmate who became a technical adviser to once famous and a giant Firm in New York, the International Telephone and Telegraphic Cor. That company is a mulit billion corporation whose base is in New YOrk. You are underestimating the ability of Filipinos. I also had a friend who simplify the ABACUS which instrument has been used by the Chinese, but never had the idea that it can be simplified further. He he he. Crab mentality you got.

        From: Disqus
        To: samontehe@yahoo.com
        Sent: Friday, May 4, 2012 3:39 AM
        Subject: [inq-newsinfo] Re: Gov’t hit for ‘fencing poverty’ during ADB meet

        Disqus generic email template

        Chris wrote, in response to to0:
        Because we want to.. we never yearned to be better..”ganito lang kasi ako”… hayy buhay.. Link to comment

      • Ommm

        Well they are both equally dead…not sure i will need AC in the grave lol… but you are far from a nation of slaves…go live in the USA for a few years…you will know what i mean.

      • to0

        I have been all over the globe, sir. This is the only country that has been so much brain washed, it does not know the word Nationalism. Go to France and talk to any Frenchman in English and they will turn their back to you. But if you speak to them in Tagalog, they will answer you in English. In Franch, you see cars with Reynoult brand, go to Germany and you will ride on a Marcedez, and in England, you only see MAN cargo trucks. It means that they cherish their own brand of product. It means they are sort of nationalistic even if everyone is a member of European Member. A nation for that matter will never progress unless it is in their hands their government and commerce. In continental Europe, there have been a hundred years war because each nation will defend to the death their tradition and their territory. Do you think a Filipino can be a president in China. He he he!

        From: Disqus
        To: samontehe@yahoo.com
        Sent: Friday, May 4, 2012 3:39 AM
        Subject: [inq-newsinfo] Re: Gov’t hit for ‘fencing poverty’ during ADB meet

        Disqus generic email template

        Ommm wrote, in response to to0:
        Well they are both equally dead…not sure i will need AC in the grave lol… but you are far from a nation of slaves…go live in the USA for a few years…you will know what i mean. Link to comment

  • Palparan

    ang laki ng gastos ng gobyerno dto fencing project… dapat sinunog na lng ang mga squatter na ito…

    • to0

      Killer, murderer, at duwag! He he he. Joke lang, walang pikunan.

    • to0


  • bahaykubo1015

    To Palparan,
    Actually burning the squatters area was never a joke. Couple of times, the decision makers from the higher ups ordered just that….”burn them up” Luckily I don’t think anybody from the higher ups will dare to do that now. Masyadong halata….nandito ang mga big shots ng ADB. Besides human rights activists are more active these days.
    Para sa akin, yung mga “higher ups” ng gobyerno na walang ginagawa ang dapat mag-resign o SILA ANG DAPAT SUNUGIN !!!!

  • sacrebleau

    Ang mga squatters mahilig pa naman sa waterfront properties. Tapos dudumihan ang tubig hanggang mamatay ang ilog at bumaho. Wtf!

  • to0

    Both PNoy and FVR are the same. During FVR’s time, he sponsored the Miss Universe in our Metropolist. But, he would allow the beauties to just stay on the second floor of the Hotel, lease they will see the rusty and delapidated roofing surrounding the hotel. In Cebu, during the Ministerial Meeting, the LGU of Cebu painted the roofings of squatters left side of Mactan Bridge with green so that they would look nicer. He he he. They uproot the squatters going to the pier. 

    At lease in Africa, their government doesn’t hide their dire poverty unlike our Chinese Dominated Government who merely delivers lip service to it’s people. May roon daw Poverty Alliviation si Dinky Soliman, eh, ang tutuo, ang 100 billion pesos gear for that project from DSWD were diverted for other purpose, which is an alternate source of pork barrel. Madaling mag ‘manufacture’ ng pangalan o recepient. Number one ang Chinese sa gobyerno natin sa ganyang pandaraya. 

    • Korean_woman

      turn a blind eye, do not hear, see or say, self-denial, what are we coming too like the church riden as well as chinese stinking societies that we are and the security goon poking with a bamboo the poor man in the Church in Davao, we cannot hide this from the world with your make-believe pomp vainity and beauty pagents to cover up and and make us feel good.

      • to0

        Just do not get what you are driving at. Are you reciting a poem?

        From: Disqus
        To: samontehe@yahoo.com
        Sent: Friday, May 4, 2012 7:39 AM
        Subject: [inq-newsinfo] Re: Gov’t hit for ‘fencing poverty’ during ADB meet

        Disqus generic email template

        Korean_woman wrote, in response to to0:
        turn a blind eye, do not hear, see or say, self-denial, what are we coming too like the church riden societies that we are and the security goon poking with a bamboo the poor man in the Church in Davao, you cannot hide this from the world with your make-believe pomp vainity and beauty pagents to cover up and and make us feel good. Link to comment

      • Korean_woman

        To0 , I would like to recite a poem , a nice poem, but I agree/see things the same as you, 

  • to0

    What our Chinese Dominated Government should do is subsidize the fertilizers, insecticides, and hybrid seeds for planting instead of doling it out to the poor which is hard to monitor. It should built more farm to market roads. I should give free of charge irrigation pipes to increase food production during summer. These activity is more productive rather giving  P1,000 subsidy to the farmers. About our fishing boats, the government should encourage the fishermen to establish a cooperative and give them bigger boats made of metal to compete against poaching Taiwanise, Mainland Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans who steal our catch within our territorial boundary. Tuna abounds in our seas, yet, only foreigners can afford to catch them because up to the present, our method of catching fish has not change of decades. Our fishermen should have a mother ship and a supply ship to deep freez the catch and the supply ship to provide necessary provisions such as fuel, food, and potable water. With this method, we will not relay on frozen fish catch by foreigners in our territory. “Ang daming tuna fish and other kinds, ngunit, we have primitive fishing boats. Me wala tayong ‘fish finders’ sa fishing boats natin, which is a standard gadget at present. Marami pang hindi alam ang Chinese government natin. Puro lip service at pangungurakot lang ang alam nila. EPAL!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JEMNLLYAP5EA7SM3A6QUOGV62Q Chris

    This is completely normal, if you have visitors, don’t you ever clean your houses? fix things and hide those undesirables? will you bring your visitors to your backyard and say “sorry our house is dirty… coz we’re poor..? don’t you ever teach your kids to behave, not to loiter around? this is no different when PH host international events… this is COMMON SENSE and should not be an issue.. I wonder why we always want to expose our ugliness to others and anything this government has done has always been politicized.


    • bahaykubo1015

      Cleaning and fixing things are not synonymous with hiding the undesirables. To be poor does not also mean that one’s house should be dirty. I can’t quite understand your logic. You are contradicting yourself.
      Why should the gov’t fence off these squatters area??? Because they are dirty????
      Why not clean them up????? The government surely have the money to clean them up instead of using the money to erect walls to hide the garbage.
      Don’t say this is completely normal!!!!!!
      Fencing off the garbage in one’s backyard instead of cleaning ang disposing them properly????
      Stupid and there’s no logic but this is exactly what the government wants to do..  HAY

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JEMNLLYAP5EA7SM3A6QUOGV62Q Chris

        Why should the gov’t fence off these squatters area? are you kidding me?? do you want to let your visitors see this? how awful!!… if you have a house near a squatters area, i bet you do the same.. or maybe you cherish that kind of view?? ew..you really have a bad taste.. i feel sorry for your visitors… 

        So what do you suggest?? demolish their houses before the summit starts and relocate them somewhere given the limited time?? do you really think those people will leave in a day?? it will take decades… we could see another riot and human rights fuzz.. like what happened to Paranaque.. cleaning up that area will take time.. 

        Don’t worry, after the summit, please file a petition for the squatter demolition in that area. I’ll support you 100%.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/WKULLE6N6KVLY72ZQW4QC5A4QE J

      ” … those undesirables? ”

      Why don’t you just fence them in, build a gas oven, then incinerate them. That was what the Nazis did to the Jews – the UNDESIRABLES at that time!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XKMIFUYMSPBSGH2ACPHYSJJL5U macoycoy

    pag pinaalis mo yang mga squater, ng sapilitan human rights violation na agad yun, pano naman yung human rights ng may ari?

    Dapat daw magprovide ka muna ng relocation site,pagawan mo ng bahay,bgyan mo ng pera, para maging makatao ka, aba.aba.. ikaw ng ninakawan ng lupa,ikaw ng hindi binabayaran ng upa, ikaw pang kailangan mag hanap ng kabuhayan nila,bahay nila at relocation nila?..ang swerte nga naman nila noh..

    at wag ka, kahit irelocate mo yan bebenta lang nila yung bahay na un at babalik dhil dun daw cla lumaki at nghhanp buhay, kagag*han.

    ang hirap sa mga human rights makataong eto, nagiging ampunan ng mga tamad,sugarol at walang disiplinang mga tao, tinotolerate at nagiging sandigan ng mga baluktot ng idelohiya.

    kaming lehitimong nagbabayad ng kuryente,tubig at nagpapakasasang magbayad ng buwis ang napeperwisyo sa mga squaters na yan, ninanakawan ka na ng kuryente,tubig umagat gabi hinohold up ka pa, tpus tapalan mo lang ang kadugyutan na tanawin dahil sa kanila human rights violation pa din?

  • http://twitter.com/Perdition2012 Rey Gan

    tagal nilang pinakinabang squatters area na yan ng walang bayad.  Pero imbes na maglinis at ayusin ang lugar, lalo pang binaboy….kaya tama lang takpan ang katamaran, kawalang disiplina, kadungisan, etc.


    Our Government seems to lack FORESIGHT. They should have implemented POPULATION CONTROL a long time ago. An INCREASING NUMBER OF PEOPLE translates into an INCREASING DEMAND for water, electricity, food, housing, fuel, medicine & hospitalization, clothing & personal accessories, grocery items, furniture & appliances, employment, transportation, education, road space, residential space, resorts & entertainment, and other basic necessities. Following the Law of Supply and Demand, increasing demand brings about increasing scarcity, increasing scarcity brings about increasing prices and increasing prices brings about increasing poverty, misery and criminality. This is what we call a CHAIN REACTION. Uncontrolled Population Growth can therefore, lead to Poverty, Misery and Criminality. REGULATING is one of the chief reasons why GOVERNMENTS have been put in place by the LORD (Romans 13:1-7). We Citizens pay GOOD TAX MONEY to our Government. Our Government in turn, should do GOOD REGULATING JOBS for us. It is the LORD’S Will for Government to REGULATE. I think it is high time for us to press our Government to REGULATE or CONTROL our country’s BALLOONING POPULATION by passing the RH BILL. Let us therefore, obey GOD’S WILL and pass on the RH BILL !!! ………. Tayo nga’y sumunod na sa Kalooban ng PANGINOON at ipasa na ang RH BILL na NAPAPANAHON !!! … (ref: Titus 2:11-12). ((^_^)) ☻☺☻☺☻

  • anak_mahirap50

    The government should spend that money to buy food for the poor! What a waste of government money!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/FPGLAYFLIRUSI2NAEG3Q5E6PGU R

       P150 million for the 4-day ADB event, not including the ads on CNN timed with the event. Yes, what a waste of money


  • http://www.facebook.com/jeo.jagonia Jeo Jagonia

    This is a big challenge to our government! hopefully they know how to reduce the poverty in this country! more f>>king hardwork is needed!

  • http://twitter.com/jcAustr1a jc austria

    Hey Pnoy and crazy crew! Did you get Imelda as your consultant for the ADB meet? 

  • http://twitter.com/judefawley Jude Fawley

    this is funny, they fence the area so that these leaders would not be able to see the slum. But they forgot that this slum could be seen clearly when the plane makes its landing at NAIA. How much dumber can you be?

  • boypalaban

    “We are not trying to keep the poor out of the picture,” Francis
    Tolentino, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman,
    said in the same report. “I see nothing wrong with beautifying our
    surroundings,” he said.


  • http://twitter.com/Chi_28 Chi Limbo

    The gov’t is stupid. ’nuff said.

  • RobertoMagtuytoy

    Its acceptable. Call it Hypocrisy by now but let the end justify its mean.

    Maski ako pag me bisita sa bahay na importanteng tao, aesthetic beauty muna, saka na pag kaya na ng bulsa ang permanent Beautification.

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