The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) launched on Sunday, July 16, the Duterte administration’s poverty reduction agenda, Kilos Para sa Sampung Batayang Pangangailangan (Kilos Sambayanan) that converges all sectors of society to tackle poverty.
During the launching held at Bgy. 286, Delpan, Tondo, Manila, the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster (HDPRCC) highlighted its programs in reducing poverty in the country.
According to NAPC Secretary Liza Maza, Kilos Sambayanan is a call for unified effort and commitment from different sectors of society to address poverty across many dimensions. It also measures the impact of government programs on the lives of the poor.
“The deprivation that the poor suffer from is far too complex and diverse to be defined by one dimensional measure such as income,” said Maza.
“Ang kahirapan ay hindi lamang kakulangan sa kita. Ang kahirapan ay hindi pagkamit ng isang tao ng mga bagay na bumubuo sa maayos na pamumuhay gaya ng pagkain, tirahan, malinis na tubig, hanggang sa mga oportunidad para sa pagpapaunlad ng sarili gaya ng edukasyon, trabaho, pensyon at iba pa,” she added.
Maza likewise underscored her agency’s determination to lift the poor out of poverty as it has been the centerpiece of President Duterte’s election campaign, alongside suppressing crime, corruption and illegal drugs.
She noted that the President has shown his commitment to reduce poverty in the country by issuing his very first Executive Order (EO), which specifically focuses on poverty eradication.
“Sa EO 1, dapat buo, dapat holistic ang pagseserbisyo ng gobyerno sa tao. Importante na maiangat din natin ang ating bansa. Importante na maging sentro ang tao sa pag-unlad ng bansa,” she said.
For his part, Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano said genuine land reform is important in attaining food security and inclusive growth.
“Kaya kung ang layunin po natin — at ‘yun naman po ang layunin ng administrasyon at gobyernong Duterte — ay magkaroon tayo ng sariling karapatan sa pagkain at seguridad sa pagkain para sa bawat mamamayang Pilipino, kailangan po nating ipatupad ang tunay na reporma sa lupang agraryo sa bansa,” said Mariano.
NAPC has been working with other sectors to identify 10 basic needs of the poor. Based on a multi-dimensional view of poverty and a universal rights-based approach to poverty, these ten basic needs include food, agrarian reform, water, shelter, education, healthcare, work, social protection, healthy environment, peace and participation.
Most of the poor people work in the informal sector, industrial areas, and agricultural lands. They are ambulant vendors, farmers, fisherfolk, and factory workers who work more than eight hours.
Despite their backbreaking work, they don’t have sufficient income, they have malnourished children and lack shelter, according to Maza.
The Philippine Statistics Office Authority (PSA) data in 2016 showed that at least 20 million Filipinos are still poor. The minimum wage of P454 for agricultural and manufacturing workers, and P491 for the non-agricultural workers are still less than half of the P1,088 living wage for each family needs for basic needs.
A family of five needs at least P6,329 on average each month to meet its basic needs and at least P9,064, on average monthly to meet both basic food and non-food needs.
PSA data showed that 1.3 million families or 8.2 million Filipinos do not have enough income to cover for their monthly expenses on food, while the latest survey from Social Weather Station (SWS) said that 2.7 million families experienced hunger at least once in the first quarter of 2017.
Maza said they are bringing Kilos Sambayanan closer to the poor and marginalized sectors to create a strong mass movement politically and economically to ensure that the government meets their needs through active participation in governance and national development.
Sunday’s event also featured the opening of One-stop shops of HDPRCC government agencies to provide services to the poor.
Maza and Mariano also unveiled the Kilos Sambayanan mural during the event.
Other officials present at the launching were Chairperson Rhodora Bucoy (Philippine Commission on Women); Undersecretary Gloria Jumamil Mercado (Office of the Cabinet Secretary); Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo (Department of Health); Undersecretary Jess Mateo (Department of Education); Assistant Secretary Avelino Tolentino (Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council); Assistant Secretary Michelle Angelica Go (Department of Environment and Natural Resources); Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag (Presidential Communications Office) and Director Arvin Chua (Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process).###PND