Issue of December 8, 2019
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Agency pushes basic sector in policymaking to address poverty
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

The National Anti-Poverty Commission has led sessions in the city last week to gather inputs from vulnerable sectors in the Cordillera and regions 1 and 2 in line with the National Sectoral Assembly on February 2020, which aims to come up with sectoral agendas to address poverty.

NAPC Sec. and lead convenor Noel K. Felongco on Wednesday said the workshop sessions will ensure that the key sectors participate in identifying issues and concerns that should be considered in crafting policies and in calling attention to existing laws that have not been serving its purposes but instead are adversely affecting efforts of communities to rise from poverty.

Felongco reported that while poverty incidence among the populations in the country dropped from 27.6 percent in the first half of 2015 to 21 percent in the same period in 2018 according to data from the Philippine Statistical Authority, the country has still a long way to go.

“If we translate our country’s overall poverty, at 21 percent, this means that there are 23.1 million Filipinos who do not have income that meet the poverty threshold or the minimum amount needed to meet the basic food and non-food requirements of a family of five,” Felongco said.

In terms of legislations, he said there are questionable polices in places that are greatly affecting the vulnerable sectors of the society, namely the urban poor, indigenous peoples, artisanal fisherfolk, formal and labor sector, workers in the informal sector, children, senior citizens, women, youth and students, victims of disasters and calamities, non-government organizations, cooperatives, farming industry, and persons with disability.

“The passage of the Rice Tarrification Law, for example, has made a significant impact to the local farming industry which resulted in the plummeting prices of local rice, which is destructive to the livelihood of many Filipino farmers,” Felongco said.

He urged local government units to consult with their constituents and engage them in a meaningful and participatory discussion, otherwise poverty reduction programs would be ineffective.

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