Quantcast
Latest Stories

Pols offer their two cents worth on poverty issue

By , ,

A government report showing that the level of poverty in the country remained unchanged over the past six years despite robust economic growth drew various proposals from senatorial candidates and their supporters to address the problem.

The latest report from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said the poverty incidence stood at 27.9 percent in the first semester of 2012, “practically unchanged” from 2006.

United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) candidates said it was time for the administration to reconsider its antipoverty programs.

This was despite the Aquino administration’s expansion of the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, which provides a monthly stipend to the poorest of the poor.

UNA senatorial candidate Ernesto Maceda described the administration as a “failure” for not making a dent on poverty, and added that the funds that it channeled to the CCT program should be diverted to other uses.

“The other conclusion is that the CCT has had no effect. So we may just be wasting the P45 billion,” Maceda said in an interview.

He said there must be more jobs in the country for growth to be felt by all. “The poverty problem, as I’ve said in my speeches, is basically due to the fact that there are no new jobs created. We don’t have enough,” he said.

In a statement, Milagros Magsaysay said the administration could look into the underemployment of agriculture workers, who make up a significant portion of the work force.

In a statement, Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr., an UNA senatorial candidate, said that boosting food production should be the first priority in solving poverty.

“We are forced to import food, costing billions of pesos annually, when we can produce this food ourselves and thus increase the income of millions of farmers and their families,” he said.

Vice President Jejomar Binay said that “inclusive growth remains the problem” despite rosy economic indicators and that more jobs were needed.

“While all the reports are good, we even broke the 7,000 [mark in the local stock market], the problem is it is not inclusive. So this is what everybody should think about,” Binay said in an ambush interview on Tuesday night in Zamboanga City.

He said ways should be found to ensure that economic growth translates to new jobs.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño, a senatorial candidate, blamed the administration’s lack of imagination in solving widespread poverty as it merely continued the old strategies of the Arroyo administration.

“The NSCB survey only confirmed what we already know. Nothing substantial is being done to address poverty. What are the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and other responsible agencies doing? Our agencies are so unimaginative. They just carried on old programs and dressed them up with new packaging. We might as well abolish the NAPC,” said Casiño in a statement.

Former Sen. Jamby Madrigal, who’s running as one of President Aquino’s handpicked senatorial candidates, said the persistence of high levels of poverty shouldn’t be taken against the President.

“This shouldn’t be blamed on the P-Noy administration because it has been in power for only three years. P-Noy had been dealing with nine years of corruption that’s why the improvement in the lives of Filipinos couldn’t be immediately felt,” Madrigal said in a statement.

Madrigal said she would file antihunger bills in the Senate if she wins in May.

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, a senatorial candidate of the Team PNoy coalition, said the government should strengthen its social safety net programs in areas of extreme unemployment, underemployment and poverty, and embrace a policy of “redistribution” toward the marginalized sector.

Angara said increased investments in the eastern seaboard would immediately translate into a one or two-percentage point rise in gross domestic product as these investment-starved areas had an amazing capacity for translating state investments into growth and job opportunities.

Senatorial candidate Benigno Aquino IV, the President’s cousin, said continued economic growth should result in pulling out many Filipinos from the clutches of poverty and hunger.

Bam Aquino said he would push for what he called the Education 2.0 Act that would provide scholarships and college financing, a Go Trabaho Act that would promote skills matching with employment opportunities, and the Go Negosyo Act that would provide fund capital for the smallest of businesses.

“The answer to poverty is already in our hands but we need to help each other in coming up with solutions and believe in each other’s capacity to improve ourselves,” said Aquino, who spent seven years with poor communities in promoting microfinancing for small businesses.

A Liberal Party stalwart said the country’s burgeoning population may be too much for its limited resources. Sen. Franklin Drilon said the administration had “been successful in alleviating poverty” although it would take time to feel its reduction.

He said those who study poverty in the Philippines must also realize that its population had increased from 2006 and more mouths sharing the same resources may have offset the gains of government efforts.

Drilon, chairman of the Senate finance committee, said the government would allocate for 2013 and 2014 a total of P25 billion for PhilHealth, the government’s health insurance program.

“We are allocating this year over P40 billion for 3.8 million Filipinos under the National Housing Poverty Reduction Program which has never happened in the past. In the past two-and-a-half years, the Aquino administration has shown its capacity to govern properly,” he added in a news conference.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Philippines , politicians , Politics , Poverty , Poverty Alleviation




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement