Monday, September 24, 2012

More evictions in Manila

Residents being evicted from a shanty town in Manila, Philippines take on riot cops protecting the demolition squad. There are so many of these forcible evictions in Manila one can hardly keep track of them. Thousands of people are thrown out of their homes for commercial development & government projects as part of gentrification. Sometimes residents are offered alternative housing which they often decline because it is in flood & landslide-prone areas--which means they become homeless. More than 2 million people in the Manila metropolitan area (about a fifth of the population) live in shanty towns. It is estimated that one-sixth of the world’s population live in them. Shanty towns are makeshift dwellings made of scrap material like plywood & corrugated metal & often lack proper sanitation & electricity. 

It cannot be claimed the Philippines lacks the resources to build public housing. It was reported last July that military spending in the Philippines rose by 80% in the past 3 years to now over $3 billion a year. President Benigno Aquino just announced the government will continue expanding its military capabilities & increasing defense spending by $1.8 billion in order to acquire more weapons, cannons, personnel carriers, frigates, cargo planes, attack helicopters. Like its US ally, the Philippine government has money for war but not for housing. (Photo by Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images)

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