Palace admits poverty incidence remains a concern-A A +A
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
MALACANANG admitted Tuesday that the government has been concerned on the poverty incidence in the country amid a recent survey showing that self-rated poverty remains at 50 percent.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said this was the reason why the Aquino administration continued to allot huge budget for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.
"Well, government's concern is reflected in the amounts that are being spent in order to address poverty reduction. Meron pong kasabihan sa management: 'Where you put your money, that is what your strategy is,'" he said.
He said that one of the government's biggest allocations in 2010 was for the Department of Social Welfare and Development for its Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps).
"Ito ay isang determined effort on the part of the government to lift our people from the lowest levels of poverty to attain economic self-sufficiency," Coloma said.
Over the years, even with some criticisms, the government increased the allocations for the 4Ps and CCT programs and based on the latest recommendation of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), the government has allotted P10-billion for the programs in the 2014 budget.
The current CCT program only covers those in the grade school and based on PIDS’s estimate, the anti-poverty effort will be more enduring and long-lasting if it helps students finish high school.
Coloma said that out of 100 students enrolled in Grade 1, only 33 make it to high school, with a high dropout rate. This is the target of the CCT program: to cut the dropout rate in grade schools.
The government also strengthens non-formal educational systems in the country to help out-of-school youth get the skills for them to enter the job market.
The Aquino administration is determined to attain poverty reduction and is also pushing for social protection programs, hoping that in the near future it would be able to reduce the number of poor Filipinos.
A nationwide survey conducted by the Social Weather Station from September 20 to 30 showed that 50 percent of the respondents rated themselves as poor, from 49 percent or 10.4 million households in June. (SDR/Sunnex)