Eschewing Poverty-A A +A
At Close Range
Sunday, September 22, 2013
PROBABLY put in the back burner or perhaps momentarily shielded from scorching public scrutiny is the sad plight of the nation's poorest of the poor or those who can manage to have the barest of essentials to survive.
There exists, however, the ambitious conditional cash transfer program of the national government but it may not be enough to stem the tide of poverty or at least lessen its sure increase in number of people who miss their meals every single day.
Reports show that the poor of the country are not alone in their sad, pathetic plight. Even the once mighty United States of America has a record 46.5 million Americans who are destitute and regularly miss their meals. India, Bangladesh and other countries in Africa and Central America also have their poor residents who subsist on dole outs and substandard food. Their living conditions are just gut-wrenching and at times indescribable.
In the latest US Census Bureau report, it was stated that more than 1 in 7 Americans were living in poverty, sending Timothy Smeeding, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and specializing in income inequality, to declare: We're in the doldrums, with high poverty and inequality as the new normal for the foreseeable future. He adds: The fact that we've seen no real recovery in employment and wages means we're just flatlined. And to think that the US has been bruited about as the land of opportunities, of milk and honey. Whew! Like in the Philippines, the gap between the rich and the poor in the US has widened since 2007.
Poor Barack Obama, his economic programs are being stalled by opposition Republicans.
It is good that President Aquino does not have too much opposition in Congress to stall his economic and development programs. Except for the huge Napoles scam and probable misuse of the Malampaya funds, his grandiose plans may yet steer our country into modest progress and eschew poverty where it hurts most.
As reported, the Malampaya Fund, which comes from the proceeds of the Malampaya natural gas project off the coast of Palawan province, now stands at a staggering P130 billion! So far, some P4 billion has reportedly been turned over to the government since the project was started in 2001. The President currently has full control over how the fund is spent. See? If only the huge Malampaya funds can be tapped to resolve the problem of the country's growing number of poor residents, there would be enough breathing room for the lowliest members of the society. Pwede kaya? Kailan naman kaya?
I had a grand time with guests and Peso Mabalacat staff last Friday (my birthday bash) at Gerry's Grill, SM Clark, courtesy of good friend, Engr. Bien Mateo, VP of SM and his officers Ana Datu, Junias Eusebio and Mark Herrera. Last Saturday, Joe Tulio of Pagcor Olongapo visited me at my residence and delivered a lechon de leche which I shared with neighbors in Tabun. City Administrator Rosan Paquia and Edgar Perez of the Business Permit and Licenses Unit were also there. Thanks a lot to you all.
The Executive and Legislative Agenda (ELA) activity of the LGU of Mabalacat City will commence this week, I was informed, and this time, in line with Mayor Boking Morales' directive to save and do away with expensive out-of-town conferences and stay-in seminars, it will be at the behest of Jun Magbalot to hold the said activity at an appropriate venue. The ELA is an important activity in local governance.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 23, 2013.