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Manila grows ever richer despite Duterte bid to boost regions

Halfway through his 6-year-term, president's federalism plans are in doubt

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at a rally in Manila on May 11. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura)

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte won the presidency three years ago on a promise to divert wealth away from Manila -- the capital he once called a "dead city" -- to the Philippines' impoverished countryside.

But halfway through his six-year-term, his plans for a federal system remain in doubt and inequality between the capital and regions continues to widen.

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