#INQPoll: Duterte must prioritize poverty, education over drug war in 2nd year
INQUIRER.net readers have spoken: In an Inquirer online poll, 14.75 percent of respondents said President Duterte, in his second year in office, should “address urban and rural poverty.”
The multiple-choice poll, which ran from July 2 to 21, invited the public to answer the question, “What should be President Duterte’s top priority in his second year?”
“Address the gaps in education to ensure quality students” was a close second at 13.11 percent. “Continue the war on drugs” ranked third at an estimated 10.1 percent of respondents.
The 14 choices given were based on the President’s previous promises from the time of his campaign to his first State of the Nation Address (Sona).
Address poverty first
The respondents’ top priority is, in fact, in line with President Duterte’s own goal to cut a fourth of the current poverty rate in the next three years of his term.
The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) announced the President’s intention on January 31. Two days prior, he officially put on hold the government’s war on illegal drugs, which had been the administration’s priority since President Duterte assumed office in 2016. Critics in the past had been vocal about the role of the drug war in addressing poverty, as many of those who have been killed come from the poorest sector in society.
Critics in the past had been vocal about the role of the drug war in addressing poverty, as many of those who have been killed come from the poorest sector in society.
A recent Social Weather Stations survey reported that an estimated 10.1 million families considered themselves poor, six percent lower than the estimated 11.5 million families recorded in the previous quarter.
The survey was conducted from June 23 to 26.
Focus, too, on education
On prioritizing education, President Duterte has yet to deliver on key promises dating back to his campaign. The P3.35-trillion national budget for 2017, however, has allocated P544.1 billion to the education sector.
During his presidential campaign, the President had promised to prioritize education to strengthen the middle class by increasing the number of government scholarships and diverting funds from other programs to education.
He mentioned again these promises during his first Sona, saying, “We are planning to increase spending on basic education and incorporate mandatory education about the evils of drugs.”
Rounding out the top five were: build more roads and railways, ensure food security by investing in agriculture and continue the prosecution of corrupt government officials.
The INQUIRER.net poll is not a scientific survey. It is an interactivity tool that can, within its limits, reflect the interests of online readers. IDL
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