Manila 'rescues' street dwellers ahead of Miss Universe

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 27 2016 10:38 AM | Updated as of Dec 27 2016 11:47 AM

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MANILA - Social workers and policemen on Tuesday rounded up at least 100 street dwellers in Manila, one month before the country hosts the Miss Universe pageant.

The homeless were picked up from the vicinity of Manila City Hall and Baywalk along Roxas Boulevard, less than 30 minutes drive from the SM Mall of Asia Arena, where the pageant will be held on January 30.

An official from the Manila Social Welfare and Development Office, who asked not to be identified, told radio DZMM that the "rescue" was part of the city's preparations for the pageant.

Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo earlier said the government wants Miss Universe candidates to visit poor communities.

Taguiwalo's predecessor, Dinky Soliman, was criticized for taking hundreds of children off the streets when Pope Francis visited Manila in January 2015. -- Report from Dennis Datu, DZMM