Manila slum dwellers prepare for demolition

An image of the Child Jesus stands in the midst of the rubble, leaning – naked and homeless – against a wall that is about to be torn down.

Images of the Child Jesus, popularly known as the Santo Nino, have been dislodged from their altars as the shanties of slum dwellers in five villages of Tondo district in Manila were demolished this week to make way for a government road project.

The new road – Road 10 – is supposed to be wide enough to accommodate six lanes in both directions and is expected to improve traffic flow in and out of Manila, which has become notorious for its congestion.

The project, however, will also render some 1,600 people homeless.

Homelessness may yet again be the fate of 27-year-old Mary Jane Paco, who lives with her husband and one-year-old child on Road 10.

Before they moved to their “rent-free” shanty, Mary Jane’s family, all devotees of the Child Jesus, lived on the sidewalks outside the Santo Nino de Tondo Parish Church.

Their shanty on Road 10 provided them, and their Santo Nino, shelter for the last three years.

Mary Jane says they may yet again live in the streets, and maybe go back to their old refuge on the sidewalk outside the Tondo church after authorities flatten their home.

Yolanda Gamido, 53, finds herself in the same predicament. She rents the shack she lives in and is not qualified for relocation. Although she has two married children, Yolanda lives alone, barely getting by on her pension. Continue reading.

Source: UCANews

Image: George Moya/UCANews

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