By Joseph John J. Perez
LEGAZPI CITY (18-May-2013) – The recent poverty incidence report of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) must not be taken negatively but must be treated as more of a challenge to economic planners and government executives.
This is the reaction made by Albay Governor Jose “Joey” Salceda during the signing of the Memorandum of Agreeement (MOA) between Albay and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in launching a pilot anti-poverty project in the province last week.
“The issue on poverty (needs) long term (solutions) since its transmission is intergenerational, Salceda said.
“Every statistician knows that it will take 32 years to lift every Filipino family out of poverty, the 32 years calculation however is based on the assumption that everything was done correctly,” Salceda added.
The statistics is very “interventionable” according to Salceda.
“My expectation is that poverty incidence will be down by two to six percent annually, adding that the numbers are virtually possible if the country will not suffer from the effects of climate change. With just one typhoon or calamity we slide backwards,” Salceda said.
According to Salceda, disaster risk reduction management and rehabilitation are very important components to minimize the impact of climate change.
“Timing of rehabilitation is crucial,” Salceda said.
Albay is a recipient of numerous awards and recognitions on disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation.
According to the recent findings of NSCB, Bicol registered 34.1 percent poverty incidence in 2012, same with CARAGA Region in the sixth spot for the top 10 regions with high poverty incidence. Masbate meanwhile placed 10th among the poorest 16 provinces of the country during the first semester of 2012 with 44.2% poverty incidence.
The national government through the DSWD projects is doing the right thing in dealing with poverty, Salceda said. “I’m happy with what the present government is doing because it is responding not just for present situation but for the future,” Salceda said. “The 32 years will be reduced by 15 years though the 4Ps and Kalahi-CIDDS,” Salceda said.
The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program popularly known as 4Ps is a direct intervention on poverty alleviation that responds to the educational needs of children. The primary source of poverty is lack of educational attainment, Salceda said.
Albay is among the three provinces that will be piloted by the DWSD together with Compostela Valley and Leyte for its Community-Driven Development (CDD) strategy in scaling up the implementation of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).
The CDD strategy in the implementation of Kalahi-CIDDS gives communities control over decisions and resources through participatory planning and design, monitoring and evaluation including community involvement in implementation, DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman said.
“At this point the scale of input is what matters. The quality of input from the national government is satisfactory, Salceda said.