The Philippines has one of the world’s highest rates of homelessness, and the problem is worse than ever.
More than half of the country’s homeless are people living on the streets, with the vast majority of them children.
This week, the government is hosting the first national homelessness summit to be held since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office last month.
The summit aims to tackle the issue of homelessness in the country, which has one the highest rates in the world.
It’s a task the Government of the Philippines (Gor) has been reluctant to undertake.
The summit aims at providing solutions for the millions of homeless people in the nation, but the country has faced fierce criticism from international human rights groups for failing to provide adequate housing and healthcare to the homeless.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), around 50,000 Filipinos were living in poverty as of last year.
More than 10,000 people died of natural causes while homeless.
And nearly 2.5 million Filipinos – including those living on fixed incomes – are living in shelters and emergency accommodation.
“We need to stop thinking about how to provide basic services, we need to think about how we can create a system that allows us to help the homeless,” President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said at the summit.
A few months after the summit, Duterte announced a $5.3 billion plan to tackle homelessness.
But there are still many questions that still need to be answered.
How will the government provide housing and health care to the hundreds of thousands of people who need it?
How will it distribute the money?
And what are the chances of the money being available in time for the summit?
What is the country doing to stop the spread of HIV?
How is it dealing with the surge in drug-related killings and killings of drug suspects?
The Philippines has faced severe challenges in dealing with homelessness, as many people in Manila’s inner-city neighbourhoods are homeless by choice.
In the capital, the city’s population of homeless is just 1.3 million, compared to the total population of more than 70 million in neighbouring cities.
Many of these are people who are unable to find a home, or who have already been evicted from their homes.
There are about 30,000 cases of HIV in the city.
And the situation is deteriorating.
As of last December, the number of cases of AIDS had risen to 5,086, up from 3,811 in the same month of 2014.
In the past year, the Philippine government has launched a campaign of mass mobilisation to combat the problem.
But the campaign has also been criticized for failing in some areas, including its efforts to tackle violence against women.
Some of the measures adopted during the campaign have also been criticised, including a crackdown on the informal economy.
Even the government has admitted it needs more funding to combat homelessness.
“We cannot continue with the policies of ‘kill, capture, kill, capture’ because it will lead to more homeless,” Duterte said during the summit on Tuesday.
“We must find a way of solving the problem.”
The president has also proposed a new law that would allow police to seize a homeless person’s possessions, including their phones and belongings, and put them in an illegal shelter.