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Street Children and Planting Trees in the Philippines




The phenomenal and alarming increase in the number of street children in the Metro Manila area and recently in highly urbanized areas and the planting trees seem to share a common Filipino failing.

Every year thousands of trees are planted all over the Philippines, many sponsored by well-meaning public officials and organizations with great publicity, After the planting of the trees, however, nothing else is done to nurture the trees. They are left to themselves uncared for. Then ore campaigns to plant more trees with more publicity. These rituals are repeated year in and year out. If only half of the trees ever planted were cared for and grew the Philippines would be covered with forests.

This kind of mentality is exhibited in the same manner in the case of street children. Children are born especially in squatter areas and as soon as they can walk they are left to fend for themselves. The increase in the number of street children has become an alarming phenomenon. Sometimes they are rounded up to be hidden when there are important foreign visitors to be released and allowed to beg in the streets as soon as the visitors have left.




We plant trees and do not care for them. We have babies born only to become street children, uncared for by their parents. This characteristic of neglect seem to be incurable national disease. We build new roads and it does not take long before they are pockmarked with holes. We have toilets in public buildings and they are out of order and smell like no other toilet smell in the world.

I ask why? When will we change?




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