Battling poverty-A A +A
Thursday, January 10, 2013
HEARTWARMING is the only word we can use to describe the report from the Palace regarding the decline in the number of families that “experienced hunger in the country during the final months of the year.”
“The Aquino administration remains committed to addressing hunger as a result of poverty,” a spokesperson of the Palace said.
Note that the “war” against poverty is a political vow of almost every politician. It is a standard political act of people eyeing a valued elective post in government. As one candidate has asserted, they promise the “moon and the stars” to potential voters in all levels of our social milieu.
Poverty has always been a bedfellow of Filipinos. For years, our social workers have been saying that an estimated 80 percent of our population is bracketed in the poor to upper middle class levels while the remaining 20 percent possess or control 80 percent of the wealth. Thus, our population structure is a reverse pyramid, if you ask me.
These make the reported determination of President Benigno Aquino III to continue slugging it out against poverty a ray of hope for us. “These initiatives mitigate and lay the foundation to help the families rise above poverty and better their lives,” the Palace spokesperson said.
On the other hand, the Social Weather Station survey pointed out that “around 16.3 percent of its respondents in a recent survey” or about 3.3 million families, “claimed to have gone hungry in the last three months 2012.” This was down by 21 percent compared to a similar survey the previous year.
The same SWS survey pointed to families that claimed to have experienced moderate hunger in previous months, meaning that they experienced only 12.7 percent hunger or only 2.6 million families compared to the previous 18 percent the previous month or 4.8 million families.
That the Department of Social Welfare and Development has taken cognizance of the great number of our people who we consider as living below the poverty line, and that their situation is being looked after by the government, in tandem with the concerned private sector, is an assurance that the welfare of our impoverished many has also been taken seriously by our officials.
Poverty may have always been bedfellow of our national society. But it is reassuring that there are also many concerned Filipinos who are working as hard to help our people rise above their state of being poor.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2013.