THE government ought to do something more effective regarding poverty, which is increasingly urbanized with the continued movement of rural people to the already congested urban centers.
And today, with pro-poor but tough-talking President Duterte, a graft-buster, at the helm of the government, there should be happy reasons to expect the best in the months and years ahead.
In fact, former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is hopeful the crusading Duterte administration succeeds in bringing down the poverty rate to just 14% in 2022.
Note that the first Chief Executive from impoverished Mindanao, a lawyer and a former state prosecutor, is set to complete the third lap of his sixth-lap presidency in two weeks time.
On the occasion of last Monday’s 121st Independence Day celebration at historic Barasoin Church in Malolos City, Bulacan, Arroyo urged Filipinos to continue fighting for freedom from poverty.
“Kaya kung ang henerasyon ng ating mga ninuno ay ipinaglaban ang kalayaan, ang ating henerasyon ay ipagpatuloy nating ipaglaban ang kalayaan sa kahirapan ng ating bansa,” said Speaker Arroyo.
A daughter of ex-President Diosdado Macapagal, the “Poor Boy” from Lubao, Pampanga, and Dr. Eva Macaraeg of Binalonan, Pangasinan, Ms. Arroyo was able to bring down the poverty rate from 39% in 2001 to 26% in 2010.
And if Duterte succeeds in bringing down the poverty rate to 14% when his presidency ends in 2022, then the country would have experienced a poverty reduction of 25% in just 20 years.
Of course, we find it hard to understand why there are still public servants who continue to pocket the hard-earned money of Juan dela Cruz despite Duterte’s total war against graft and corruption.
Kung gusto nating mawala ang kahirapan sa bansa, kailangang ipakulong lahat ng mga magnanakaw sa gobyerno.