Fire gutted a squatter colony near the train tracks in Hermosa, Tondo early Monday, leaving at least 20 families homeless three weeks before Christmas.
Officials said the fire started past midnight and quickly spread since most of the shanties were made of light materials. Authorities said most of those affected were informal settllers that are scheduled to be relocated to Santa Maria, Bulacan.
Superintendent Felixberto Abrenica, Manila fire marshal, said firefighters were unable to quell the blaze immediately because of the narrow streets leading to the fire.
Affected residents urged the government to immediately relocate them in time for the holidays.
"I hope they do the relocation earlier so we could celebrate Christmas properly. It would be a new start," said Lizelle Monggote. a resident affected by the fire.