Homeless people have increased in mega cities of developing countries like the Philippines. This article aims to analyze homelessness in Metro Manila. The main focus is devoted to three issues on homelessness: where homeless people come from, where they live in Metro Manila and why they live there.
First, this article analyzes the social processes which bring the needy to the streets using the push-pull hypothesis. It concludes that the squatter area is the biggest source of homeless people. Second, it analyzes the spatial distribution of homeless people. Management and control of public space by the government is strengthened, public space is privatized. As a result, squatter areas in public space are evicted from the inner-city and moved to the suburbs. Without a home many squatters are left behind in the inner-city and pushed to the streets. Thus squatter area is decentralized and homeless people are centralized. Third, it analyzes the politics behind the occupancy of public space vis-a-vis the government and homeless people. In the developing countries, public space has been seen as the pseudo-public space which can be occupied conventionally by the needy. However, control of public space is strengthened, demolition of squatter area is implemented, and many people are pushed to the streets. This article analyzes the politics behind the use of public space in relation to the government, the squatter, the vendor and the homeless people. It concludes that homeless people are the most vulnerable in both the occupancy and the elimination of public space. The pseudo-public space is disappearing and hence homeless people are converging with their counterpart in European countries.