MMDA defends ‘beautification’ of slum areas for ADB meeting
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino pointed out the ADB meeting itself already seeks to thresh out solutions to alleviate the plight of the poor not only in the Philippines but in Asia.
“Wala akong nakikitang masama sa pagpapaganda ng kapaligiran. Hindi naman natin iniitsapwera ang ating kababayan, kasama sila sa agenda ng ADB conference na maiangat ang kabuhayan…,” Tolentino said in an interview on dzBB radio.
Earlier, the government was scored for “whitewashing” some slum areas in Pasay City to hide them from delegates to the ongoing ADB meeting.
One criticism came from the Communist Party of the Philippines, which branded as “Imelda-style whitewash techniques” the government’s erecting a tall wall to hide people living under a bridge next to a polluted river.
Citing a TV news report on the wall beside the bridge in Pasay, the CPP recalled then First Lady Imelda Marcos’ white walls along the routes taken by foreign visitors at the Miss Universe pageant held in Manila in the 1970s.
“In erecting the Pasay wall, Aquino reminds us of how Imelda Marcos erected similar white walls along the route of foreign visitors to the Miss Universe pageant held in Manila in 1974,” it said.
Now, it said the wall erected under President Benigno Aquino III’s watch will hide the homeless residents from the view of around 4,000 delegates to the ADB meeting.
The CPP likewise denounced the scheduled ADB meeting as another forum to perpetuate the policies that the bank has pursued together with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
“Together with the World Bank, the ADB is pushing for the so-called millennium development goals and the conditional cash transfer program as the principal components of so-called poverty-reduction programs,” said the CPP.
“These schemes are outrightly deceptive programs to draw the people’s attention away from the need to wage revolution to put an end to the unjust system that subjects them to oppression and exploitation,” it added.