Promised Land?

In July 2000, a typhoon that ravaged parts of the Philippines caused a huge garbage dump in Payatas, Quezon City to collapse, crushing more than a hundred nearby shanties and burying more than 500 residents. The tragedy shocked the nation and Payatas came to be considered as a symbol of urban poverty in the Philippines. Nearly seven years after the landslide, Payatas is still a massive garbage dump and there are still multitudes in what is ironically called Lupang Pangako (Promised Land) earning their keep by scavenging in the pile, and those who lost their loved ones in the tragedy have yet to receive justice – showing graphically the government’s neglect of the plight of those who are forced by circumstances to live in subhuman conditions.

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