Al Jazeera video ‘Begging for Life’ features roundup of beggars during APEC Summit in Manila

Al Jazeera features in its ‘People and Power’ programme the video clip Begging for Life, a look into the lives of street children who make a living begging on the streets of Manila. The video is noteworthy because it captured eyewitness accounts of the roundup of street urchins conducted by the Philippine government in and around the vicinity of the routes to be taken by motorcades transporting delegates of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum held in Manila in 2015.

DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman interviewed on Al Jazeera
DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman interviewed on Al Jazeera
Included in the video is an interview of Corazon ‘Dinky’ Soliman, Secretary of the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) who insists that the fuss kicked up around this large-scale roundup of street beggars during the APEC Summit (which was also criticised by Human Rights Watch) was all “media hype”. Soliman admitted, however, that the level of coordination and collaboration involved in such government operations is “fired up” during international events like these when there are foreign dignitaries visiting.

Al Jazeera correspondent Barnaby Phillips pressed Soliman on the notion of a stepped-up effort to “clean up” Manila’s streets mounted selectively. Phillips opined that the presence of US President Barrack Obama (who led the US APEC delegation) should, perhaps, not be the main impetus for such operations and that the Philippine government should be, as a matter of routine, “looking after its own people”. To this, Soliman merely highlighted that the DSWD has routine programmes in place doing just that.

The video used lots of footage that, together, served to highlight the stark contrasts in Manila — a city that is a modern cosmopolitan metropolis and, at the same time, a teeming Third World megalopolis whose most needy residents are largely invisible to those who are in the best position to change things for the better overall.


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7 Comments on "Al Jazeera video ‘Begging for Life’ features roundup of beggars during APEC Summit in Manila"

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Andreas Hüttner
It is sad and shameful for the Philippines an indictment. The indictment is not so much based on the material values ​​possessed by the people – rather to the moral values ​​of a nation. During the period of my stay in the Philippines much properties as resentment and envy in a specific measure. In many conversations around the theme of learning, education, qualification strictly defensive posture was taken. A Christian coexistence which is tricked into a facade, is by pressing of an enormous egotism. I saw the ignorance of the suffering of other people in such a large extent, how… Read more »

Aquino and Soliman are “sweeping the dirt under the rug”…

Aquino failures in the economy, produced massive poverty among Filipino families. The Oligarchs, who are Aquino’s cahoots, got richer and richer. While most of the Filipinos are mired in abject poverty.

Just go to Aquino’s Hacienda Luisita. Observe the conditions of his tenants/serfs. They are living in poverty; while they are working on his Hacienda.


Another arrogant clueless government official with blue hair give me a break. Sums the Philippines up perfectly


They did only the same thing the Marcoses did back in the 1970s: hide the poor behind walls. They did that in an ADB meeting some years back too.

See the typical Filipino way of doing things: instead of fixing faults, they hide them.

vagoneto rieles
The subterfuge and sleight-of-hand employed by the administration wouldn’t have escaped the foreign dignitaries and their entourage. They could have just smiled and played deaf-and-dumb, but among themselves they would have knowingly smiled and shook their heads. President Aquino and his flunkies did not fool anyone; and, with this gimmickry they only succeeded in demeaning their country yet again. Our hypocrisy, our propensity for “pulling the wool over others’ eyes” is boundless. Those old enough might remember Imelda Marcos’ sprucing-up and painting the shanties that were along the route of a visiting Pope. And then, in a different fashion, the… Read more »
Jim DiGriz

All these kids will grow up and in the near future they will be the ones who will rob and kill you for a few pesos. Crime will be out of control. You all just wait. Manila is doomed.


If we are not ashamed to think it, we should not be ashamed to say it.