Philippine poor to be moved far from their jobs

Residents use makeshift rafts to cross floodwaters near Manila Aug. 11. The Office of Civil Defence said the floods left at least 66 people dead and affected nearly three million people in Manila and nearby provinces.

CNS PHOTO | ROMEO RANOCO, REUTERS

Residents use makeshift rafts to cross floodwaters near Manila Aug. 11. The Office of Civil Defence said the floods left at least 66 people dead and affected nearly three million people in Manila and nearby provinces.

September 3, 2012

When news of the Philippine government's relocation plan for flood-prone residences in Manila was announced, Canossian Father Carlo Bittante made the rounds to check on his flock.

Some of his parishioners in Manila's Tondo district will be affected.

They live in an impoverished squatter community called Happy Land, on the edge of Manila Bay.

In a common area where vendors chopped pork rinds and skins to sell, Chrislyn Trongcosa told Bittante that the latest rains completely washed away her family's wooden shack on the water – again.

The day before, she had just visited what will be her new house on higher ground, about 40 km away.

"For me, it will be nicer. It'll be more comfortable," said Trongcosa.

What she did not know was "how we're going to make a living.

They say they're going to get us jobs there."

She is a street vendor who sells small bags of pork rinds and sour green mangos on a stick.

She gets her supplies from the common area and metro Manila's main wholesaling hub, about a kilometre away.