Senator Loren Legarda called on authorities to ensure that the poorest of our poor belonging to the most vulnerable and marginalized sectors of our country are provided with the necessary government interventions – that address their needs and support their aspirations – in order to achieve inclusive growth and eventually alleviate poverty.
Legarda made the statement in celebration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, with this year’s theme calling for all nations to end poverty towards a path of peaceful and inclusive societies.
“Our government should ensure that we are extending the necessary support for all poor Filipino families. Our agencies should strengthen their efforts in providing social welfare services, as well as livelihood opportunities for them to generate income. It is also important to create an enabling environment where all our farmers, fisher folk communities, indigenous peoples, and workers, especially those at the rural level, could succeed and eventually provide for their own,” the veteran legislator said.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), poverty incidence among Filipinos in 2015 was estimated at 21.6%, registering 21.9 million Filipinos below poverty line. A Filipino in 2015 needed at least P1,813 on average monthly in order to meet both basic food and non-food needs.
The seasoned lawmaker said that the proposed 2018 national budget, which she described as “makatao”, would hopefully foster convergence among government agencies to stimulate growth in our communities and sustain it at the level that would hopefully eradicate poverty in our regions.
“There are no band-aid solutions to a problem as complex and as deeply rooted as poverty. Alleviating poverty would require a whole-of-government approach. The private sector, civil society organizations, and other partners will also be crucial in supporting our poor families in this process,” the lady senator said.
Legarda mentioned that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); free irrigation for farmers; universal access to healthcare; and the free college tuition in state universities and colleges are among the many government programs that would further support and open doors for our poor Filipinos.
“Poverty is a side effect of decades of poor governance and lack of opportunities for our people to prosper. We should not blame the poor for being poor. They are the victims. We cannot achieve real lasting growth if there are still millions of Filipinos living below poverty line,” Legarda concluded.