Elevators in posh Manila condo tower are not for “the help”

 

Icon Residences in downtown Manila; photo by Hans Olav Lien

Icon Residences in downtown Manila; photo by Hans Olav Lien

When word of memos posted in elevators in the upscale Icon Residences in downtown Manila, Philippines, began circulating on the Internet, many Web surfers were “horrified,” and “disgusted” by what it said: Hired help such as maids, drivers and butlers are not allowed to use the passenger elevators, but should use service elevators instead, Rappler reported. The hubbub is reminiscent of a similar uproar over the summer in New York City, where developers of a 42-story apartment tower were considering installing what came to be known as a “poor door,” or separate entrance for people who lived in the tower’s affordable units. Icon Residences property managers contend it’s nothing personal — that the “passenger elevators for residents and their guests only” has always been policy. Just how posh and exclusive are the residences? A cursory perusal of online residential listings revealed that a two-bedroom unit with maid’s quarters and one parking space was being offered for approximately 12 million Philippine pesos, or US$266,000 — really not all that much in the grand scheme of things.

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