A few months ago, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced that the country would reach “first world status within a generation.” Possibly within my lifetime. Already, a simple Google search yields hyper-realistic renderings of Manila as a “first world” city, with networks of freeways, special economic zones, and call centers. There are computer renderings of couples and families walking around leafy, American-style residential/commercial spaces with improbable names like “Eastwood City.”
I am interested in who is rendered out of these pictures.
The unsustainability and deleterious effects of export-oriented economic development in the Philippines have been analyzed noted scholars and activists like Walden Bello. My next posts will deal with how these strategies further marginalize already vulnerable populations, the very ones that these policies were supposed to help.