Pols offer their two cents worth on poverty issue



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.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • cato_the_younger

    To all politicians out there, it’s actually very easy to help alleviate poverty. Breathe in, breathe out, and all together now: “I will not steal. Ommmmm. I will not steal. Ommmmm.”

    • wilfredo h. villena

      Agree ako diyan.

    • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

      If i may add, to all voters, wag magpa-loko, vote wisely, think twice at huwag umasa palagi sa gobyerno at sa iba..mag-aral ng mabuti kung may panahon pa..mag-sipag kayo..pare-parehas lang tayo pinanganak n hubad as in walang-wala

    • Javier A. Quintos


    • Platypus09

      We have to remember that poverty among us is multi-FACTORIAL or multi-faceted, from poor motivation to succeed, family culture, poor environment, neglect to take care of oneself, and lots of things, just to name a few..

      That also includes issues on the part of our government that could make the situations of the poor worse.

      If you want to address poverty, you cannot just hit and miss.

      You have to ASSESS or STUDY what are these causes and address MOST of them through short term and long term planning.

      If you don’t have those identified issues or factors pertaining to poverty in this country painted as a whole picture, everything you do, or the government for that matter as well, will be FUTILE.

      It cannot be addressed just by one thing.

      You have to have lots and lots of researches or studies left and write, on what are the causes and how specific programs that could potentially address these issues satisfactorily.

      That is where social and behavioral RESEARCHERS come in.

      Your rants about politicians just a tip of the iceberg. That, blaming the politicians, is NOT enough. We should know that by now. That is being CHILDISH.

      And lots of smart forumers in here should know that.

      Maybe, next time, PDI and Philippine media need to cite or talk about researches done by our fellow Filipinos who are in academia or with doctoral degrees on lots of issues, and see what they say. That might encourage them to do more of their expertise.

  • jejembe09

    Angara got a point.. we need redistribution in sectors.. need to give job programs to locations that has extreme in poverty

    • tommyhilfinger

      Indeed brother..

    • juan_luisjr

      agree. The statement of noted economist Bernie Villegas has always marked me ” 70 % of the poor are in rural areas and if we want to alleviate poverty, we have to invest heavily in the rural areas.” Have we done that ? It seem yes because the budgets for agriculture were increased a lot in 2011 adn 2012 but perhaps not enough !!

      What struck me in yesterday’s sad news was not only the 28% incidence rate but that the poorest people were in armm and the other mindanao regions + – 50% in these areas. Manila has a + – 5%, the lowest and next lowest are calabarzon areas. I guess nothing much is being done in the mindanao areas which is a hot bed for terrorism and kidnapping. For so much long as far flung rural areas are neglected, people will just keep on coming to Metro manila thereby stretching its already thin resources and the poverty cycle will just continue. The problem is not just on the national government but also on the local level such as the governors and mayors.

      All of the suggestions made in this forum are true– more revenues, redistribution, less corruption which means less stealing, more agri investments, more job opportunties more non college degree people ( like infra and tourism ) etc… The telecom and BPO industries have helped many of our college grads but they hire very few non college grads.

      Whether one is for or against this government, I pray that the leaders will hit the right bottoms. They have only 3 years left

    • mxgdyqt8069

      Nang wala nang mapapala si Donkey Soliman kay Gloria, sumama sa mga rebelde Hyatt 10, kasama din si Oinky Drilon. Mga certified tiwali mga to.

  • Loggnat

    ‘ Madrigal said she would file antihunger bills in the Senate if she wins in May.’ /// Is she going to make it illegal to be hungry? Sound bites that does not even make sense from a politician that makes promises that are not even doable or will alleviate and solve the problem. What Madrigal said must have been taken out of context by the writer/reporter.and simplified. JEEz… makes her sound like an airhead and clueless.

    • Guest

      For Jamby Madrigal, she believes that providing children from poor
      families with a free meal everyday can help alleviate poverty. I agree.

      • 12JEM

        Free meals….will alleviate hunger but not poverty.

  • farmerpo

    The gall of the politicians. They pocket the money that can create jobs. They think they earned it by investing heavily to become a politician. They believe it is their right to pcoket the money of Juan because they are ‘serving’ Juan. They think they deserve all the PDAF they can get. Ask newbies like Nancy Binay why she is trying to get in…. big bucks that is why… no bucks for Juan. Just crumbs thrown under the table….

  • Jake Lopez

    If we can not produce the jobs internally or locally, why not revise our foreign investment strategies like the question of the percentage of a business which could be owned by foreigners. Let’s admit it, we alone could not create millions of jobs in a jiffy.



  • divictes

    Ho-humm… wake me up when we get there. What a waste of my precious two cents.

  • hopeless_na

    eliminate corruption in all government offices is the answer.

  • GKLer

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

  • mewo_meow

    Kailangan palakasin ang programa sa trabaaong may kinalaman sa agrikultura at aquaculture sa gayon sa panahon ng anihan ay may makakain ang bawat pamilyang pilipino. Dapat itaas din ang sahod ng manual labor/construction, manufacturing at lahat ng trabahong mabibigat. Sana mag invest din tayo sa isang recycling facility upang ang lahat ng basura ay gawing kapakipakinabang at ito ay magbibigay ng trabaho sa lahat ng kababayan natin na nasa ganitong linya ng hanapbuhay.

  • 12JEM

    Only sustained high inclusive economic growth in the next 12 to 15 years can make a big dent on the rate of poverty incidence in the country. This means that the country should attain and sustain at least 7% compounded annual growth rate in GDP per capita from 2013 to 2025 to reduce the poverty incidence from 29% to 15%. Still there is hope to attain reduction to 10% by 2020 if we can attain a growth rate of between 8% and 10%.
    Sustaining it further could reduce poverty incidence to 5% by 2030.

    Key to this target is GOOD GOVERNANCE (lessons from Singapore). Let us have FOI law.

    Another important factor is the opening up of the economy (amend economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution) to promote more investments that will generate employment that will give jobs to even our high school graduates.

    There are many more that can be done to reduce poverty in the country…including having conflicts with NDF and groups in the South resolved as soon as practicable.

  • thecop

    kung isosoli lang ng mga corrupt senators, congressman, presidente, governors, mayors at lahat ng government officials ang kanila kinurakot pabalik sa taong-bayan, eh mabubura ang kahirapan hanggang sa kasuluksulukan ng pinas. yung lang!

  • raptor_d_lonewolf

    assuming that CCT fund of 45 billion will be diverted to job creation but what kind of job will it be to have an effect to our poor? again the solution by una is not clear.

  • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

    andyan n yung conditional cash transfer, partly list to represent the marginalized wala pa rin epek..gawin nyo n lang kaya tayo lahat congressman? lahat tayo may 70M every yr

  • Guest

    Free lunch for every school child. That’s ex Sen. Jamby Madrigal’s project. I like it.

    • Guest

      Win or lose yang project na yan ni Jamby. That’s something na dapat
      tularan ng mga mambabatas.

      • Guest

        Tama si Jamby, kasi nga naman di na magpapakain ang parents sa lunch.
        then makakatipid sila, eh di may maisusubi pa sila sa kita ng parents.

      • Guest

        Correct! Saka di na uuwi pa sa tanghali ang mga bata para kumain sa bahay nila. Di na silamapapagod maglakad, di na maiinitan hehehe.

    • Guest

      Noon pa ginagawa ni Jamby ginagawa yang free lunch for shoolchildren in
      public schools. Ang kandidato n’yo ba ginagawa yan?

  • Guest

    Buti pa si Jamby may malasakit sa mga mahihirap. Yung iba diyan
    ginagamit na ang mga poor di naman talaga tinutulungan.

  • buttones

    “When I am elected. etc etc etc” We have been listening to this mantra for 67 long years now, and in the case of poverty the instance has actually risen by 300%. The population of PH in 1946 was about 18 + million, about half of them living in poverty, say 9
    million. Today we have 27 million to deal with. Some say “Well don’t blame the
    current President ‘cos he’s only been in office for three year” [conveniently
    ignoring all the years the guy sat in Congress where he was not aware of the
    problem of poverty anyway, as he didn’t author any bills on the matter] I agree
    that the blame for this disgusting situation we have cannot be laid at Aquino’s
    doorstep, but rather more at every tradpol, dynastical, self serving President/
    administration we ever had..

    I keep hearing about PH being a wealthy country, even more so in potential in 1946, a ‘wealthy’ country that cannot feed almost a third of its people? What sort of ‘wealth’ is this? The tangible assets of forestry have been sold off, mineral wealth of gold is only 5% for
    the government the other 95% get’s shipped abroad illegally. God knows what’s
    happening to the other mineral wealth, which is in private hands anyway. So now
    we start destroying our environment for tourist pennies.

    And now we have Senatorial candidates who tell us they have many answers, not just to poverty but everything else- well I’m sorry they don’t, it’s the same old barking from the
    same old pack..

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000923389289 David Bobir

      I agree. But you already destroyed your environment and continue to do so. Don’t blame the tourist!

      • buttones

        Yes David, ‘we are destroying our environment to accommodate tourists’ might have been better, unlikely the few tourists we do get pollute our rivers our streams and water ways, the very air we breath to that extent. The loss of coral reef is of course all the US navy’s fault,running their ships aground all over the place night and day or the Chinese fishermen,
        Filipino fishermen don’t fish illegally- oh no, no way ‘cos we ‘love’ our
        environment as the guy from DENR just recently said…..literally love it to

      • Guest

        When I look out of my door, I see plastic, plastic and more plastic..I see an illegal quail-farm, an illegal pig farm on an empty lot..all within 10 meters from my home. I see smoke-belching trikes, trucks, jeepnies, and buses passing by…now and then I can’t see 100 meters far. This is just Malabon…People don’t care..No one seems to care anymore..People gave up long time ago. No, it is not the tourist..It is the Filipino who should take responsibility for his own actions and not blame everything on others. From political pollution with dynasties to be unable to respect any law..THAT is the cause..

  • http://twitter.com/JaimeOdeVera Jaime O. de Vera

    If I were a dictator (I think we need one who is morally upright), I will definitely abolish
    the senate & transfer its basic responsibilities to the lower house. Reasons: 1) Senate
    duties are just a duplication of work, 2) Whatever savings – salaries & pork barrel of the senators – will be used to exclusively address education budget & the families
    living under poverty-line level, 3) The senators are elected nationwide which is very,
    VERY EXPENSIVE & 4) Senators have NO SPECIFIC CONSTITUENTS. How’s that my
    friends (internet users)? Is the idea of “abolishing the senate” worth exploring?

  • rommel joseph

    Nakakainis marinig sa isang matandang pulitiko na me solusyon daw sya sa kahirapan pag nanalo siya. Palibhasa ulyanin na, nakalimutan nyang matagal siyang nanungkulan wala siyang nagawa kundi ang payamanin nya ang kanyang sarili at pamilya.

  • Guest

    I just want to remind voters. Iboto ang mga kandidato base sa kanilang
    principle and not on popularity. One example for that is Jamby Madrigal.

  • iping2sison

    There are many solutions to eradicate poverty but, always, the politicians always muddle the issue. Instead of giving their full commitment to serve the people, they first serve their own interests. They always wanted a piece of the action and, of course, the money.

  • JLFS

    Eliminating the Senate will help in reducing poverty incidence.

    • Platypus09


      Are you trying to be funny?

  • Ako_Hiking

    The Philippine has major problems with poverty and those suffering from hunger. Aquino has been content relying on surveys to determine the countries’ situation instead of working to resolve the real problems. He’s been determined to attack his political foes like Gloria and Corona but he hasn’t done much in helping the Filipino masses who are suffering from poverty.

    • Platypus09

      Why blame him?

      Can he solve all the root causes of poverty?


      • Ako_Hiking

        Who knows if he can but if he doesn’t try and do more than just talking then we will never end poverty. Let’s be honest…Aquino has been talking for 3 years but he;s done more talking to action…take the victims of “Pablo”…Aquino has only visited once. Those people are still starving and in need of food.

      • Platypus09

        You are just picking on him, trying to find faults in him.

        Poverty is not caused by him. He cannot solve all that. His authority is limited to the Executive Branch of government.

        Programs for the poor should be legislated by your Congress, both House and Senate.

        Try to talk to your Congressman. Congressmen might be able to do something about those victims of Pablo.

      • Ako_Hiking

        It’s not about picking on anybody here it is simply holding him accountable of his promises. You should not make excuses for the President…he has enough people helping him with that. If something is good, Aquino takes credit but if something is bad you want to blame Congress…seems hardly logical.

    • Guest

      This is so ignorant. Why do Filipino’s blame everything on the president? Is he a kind of Messiah that he can do it alone? WE are the society, not him. We have to do also our share. Why do we always wait for someone else who has to redeem us from our sins? WE vote for the wrong people, WE don’t stand up against injustice. We keep on sitting on our butt and only complain, waiting for someone else to fix it for us. Remember: No Man is an island. WE have no sense of community, It starts already in elementary: stupid things like: become a leader, for leadership, etc. But the truth is that people have to do THEIR share also..You AND me. We need workers in God’s vineyard, not only leaders. We need people who are willing to help others, to teach others, to cheer up others. And it doesn’t cost you much.

      • Ako_Hiking

        Not everything is blamed on the President…only things which he promised and not delivered is what he is being blamed for. The country has to hold its leader accountable for promises that he has not been met.

  • kismaytami

    LOL! Shyt! Anong alam ng mga yan sa kahirapan??? Ang alam nila eh PORK BARREL!

  • nakawan

    Maceda said we have to create jobs huh? OK, when he gets elected let’s see him pilot an expansive jobs program throughout the country, and let’s see how he plans to staff those jobs with incompetents, loungers, and squatters who–let’s face it– are the poor of the country who can’t “feel” the effects of the rising financial status of the Philippines. Let’s see what kind of economy this aging lunatic can come up with.

    There’s a reason why the poor in the Philippines stay poor. They don’t want to work. They want cash handed out to them which is what Maceda and the rest of the trapos are adept at doing. They hand cash, do a song and dance, and promise the sun moon and stars. They got so used to it, they’d rather not work and find easier ways to make money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Krizz-Ibarra/100000181696874 Krizz Ibarra

    majority of pinoys have the mendicant mentality. they would rather get handouts than work for it. and that’s easy for noontime shows to exploit for ratings and for politicians to use to buy votes. and the rest just pray to god for their daily bread.

  • kapayapaan_1900

    LOOK WHO IS TALKING! These politicians are second to none in lip service, a bunch of hypocrites feasting on public ignorance and apathy. Let somebody who walk the talk speak! Let those who never conspire with despots, thieves, dubious character, and the vilest of criminals be given our sacred trust to rule us and combat this dreaded disease of poverty that continue to haunt us.

  • alexfrommactan

    It is very amusing that many of these candidates (i.e Casino, Maceda, Binay, etc) who are talking about what needs to be done (to alleviate poverty ) are in politics for quite sometime already. So my question is why you did not previously work to make your suggestions happen??? If you really believe in your ideas, why you did not previously worked on it?? What have you done in the past while you were in the government post?

    I dont know what is the background of this Bam Aquino but it looks like his idea on education and microfinancing is a good one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Archie-Villaflor/100002964918424 Archie Villaflor

      it is! he implemented his poverty alleviation program Hapinoy in 14 provinces in the Phils already and so far okay naman. so okay din siguro if maimplement in a larger or wider scale. =)

  • $14334231

    every election time, you hear all these candidates makes suggestions, proposals, etc….but after they are elected, all they do is fatten their pockets…no follow up is ever made on their promises until the next election year comes………such is the MOs of all politicians which stupid voters bites it all; bait, hook and sinker…..until we all learn not to accept any favors from these politicians, and vote who we think are best suited to serve us, this will continue on and on and on and on……

  • arman_singson

    Epektib naman ang CCT program ng Aquino administration, kaya lang marami talagang naghihirap ngayon.

  • Cobra

    Madrigal said she will file anti hunger bills.So she will make it illegal to become hungry,huwag kayong mag re reklamo maski kayo’y gutom huhulihin kayo.Bakit di mo ipamigay ang mga pera mo sa mahihirap bruha ka.

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


editors' picks



latest videos