PAMPANGA

Pangan: A tall order

At Close Range

THE commitment of the Duterte administration to address poverty is indeed a tall order to implement.

Programs to bring us a comfortable life are reportedly afoot but are vaguely felt by majority of us Filipinos.

It is presently a wistful thinking to say the least but it brings renewed hope for most of us. What if it materializes, we euphemistically say.

The administration takes cover at the recent Social Weather Stations survey which showed that fewer (and lesser) Filipino families "consider themselves poor in the past three months."

In reality, however, more Filipinos suffer involuntary hunger, or those who manage to eat only once a day!

The swaggering, clownish presidential spokesman Atty. Salvador Panelo claims that the overarching socioeconomic goal of the Duterte administration is to bring a comfortable life for all, with the objective of reducing poverty at a significant level.

What this "significant level" is, only Panelo can discern but the fact remains that so many Filipinos still live below the poverty threshold. He himself admits thus: Poverty, however, is a concern that cannot be addressed overnight and this administration recognizes this fact. Hence, notwithstanding the latest survey showing favorable results, there is no denying that millions of families remain poor.

There it is, straight from the horse's mouth.

He has grand plans, or should I say, the Duterte administration has commitments and promises to attain poverty reduction goals. The concerned government agencies have instituted social protection measures, including rice liberalization and cash transfers and other long-term programs to alleviate poverty. But are these achievable? Doable?

Per survey conducted last September of this year, some 10.3 million households considered themselves poor and this the Office of the President knows. Self-rated poverty exists all over the country and thus, the government should exert vigorous efforts to alleviate poverty incidences.

***

Private schools reportedly urged the government to make the implementation of the K-12 program optional for them. While a teachers' aggrupation asks for a thorough review of the program.

This, after even Congress, particularly Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, pushed for the optional implementation of education reforms in private schools.

Cayetano noted that many schools still lack equipment in various offerings of the Senior High School program. So, quo vadis, K-12?


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