‘Development projects’ and real estate investments are rising in Metro Manila which are often touted as visible proofs of economic growth. Indeed, the Philippines was recently cited as one of the fastest growing economies in the Asia-Pacific. On the other hand, most of the impressive economic statistics often cited by government officials do not always reflect the continuing poverty in the country, even in urban centers like Manila.
Despite the reported progress in the country, Manila is still home to hundreds of thousands of informal settlers. These urban poor communities are always threatened with demolition to give way for ‘development projects’. A relocation program is offered by the government but many families prefer to stay in their homes as they demand for an in-city or near-city housing program where schools, hospitals, and other services are accessible.
The photos of Mr Saludes provide a glimpse of life in an urban poor community in Mandaluyong. A community which might be demolished in the near future.
Global Voices is re-publishing some of these photos with permission from Mr Saludes.
*All photos courtesy of Mark Z. Saludes