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DSWD sent homeless families to Batangas resort during Pope visit

Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman admitted that 100 homeless families, comprised of around 500 children with their parents, were sent to a resort in Nasugbu, Batangas during the five-day visit of Pope Francis in the country. Soliman said that this was done as the families would not have a positive effect on the crowd. Philstar.com/RP Ocampo
MANILA, Philippines - Around 500 street children, along with their families, were sent to a resort in Nasugbu, Batangas during the five-day visit of Pope Francis in the country.
 
According to a television report, 10 buses full of street dwellers arrived at the Chateau Royale Resort in Nasugbu, Batangas on the morning of January 14.
 
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) booked 70 rooms for the families of less fortunate children from the cities of Pasay, Manila and Parañaque for a "family camp."
 
Each room usually costs P6,300 per night but the DSWD got the rooms for P4,000 each, according to a report from radio dzMM.
 
A number of 100 DSWD staff also stayed in the resort to look over the families and facilitate activities.
 
The families checked out of the resort on January 19, the last day of Pope Francis in the country.
 
In an interview with Time Magazine, DSWD Secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman admitted that the homeless families were sent away so that they would “not be vulnerable to the influx of people coming to witness the Pope.” 
 
The said family camp in Nasugbu, Batangas was part of the DSWD's Modified Conditional Cash Transfer program.
 
Soliman added that the families “could be seen as not having a positive influence in the crowd."
 
In an interview with radio dzMM, Soliman clarified that they did not hide the street dwellers from Pope Francis.
 
"Hindi po natin sasabihing itinatago natin sila dahil nga andyan lang ho sila, hindi sila lahat nasama," Soliman said.
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