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Home Columns Ike Señeres Failure to Meet Poverty Reduction Target
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Columns - Ike Señeres
Written by Ike Señeres   
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 20:29

 

BANTAY GOBYERNO (SERIES 039)

By Ike Señeres                                                             

 

S ecretary Jose Eliseo Rocamora of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) recently admitted to the press that the Philippines is unlikely to reduce the incidence of extreme poverty by half before 2015 as targeted by the government, adding however that it is not likely to increase either. The frankness and honesty of Secretary Rocamora is commendable, but it does not excuse the government from being accountable, not even with the lame assurance that it is not likely to increase, a segue that sounds like a “consuelo de bobo”.

 

Mind you, Secretary Rocamora was not even talking about plain and simple poverty per se, but about extreme poverty. The distinction between plain and extreme poverty appears to be an invention of the United Nations that the Philippine government has not really defined for purposes of local usage, as a statistical measure that is.

 

As far as I know, the Philippine government measures only the statistic of household members who fall below the poverty line based on the number of households that could not afford to buy the imaginary basket of goods, an artificial measure that is used for statistical purposes. So far, the government does not isolate the data that would define how many percent of those who are below the poverty line are in the category of “extreme”.

 

Based on the usual and customary practice of statistical data gathering, all the data inputs must originate from local sources, getting these from below first, before these are elevated to the national level, for integration purposes. Again as far as I know, there is no data that is coming from below, leading me to speculate that the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) is simply fabricating (meaning inventing) the data that it is submitting to the United Nations (UN).

 

As a charter member of the UN, and even as a regular member, the Philippines has the moral obligation to submit only the data that are accurate and truthful, but apparently, the government has broken this rule, an action that could practically be considered as a national crime.

 

As a responsible member of the UN (presumably we are), we should have made it our objective to meet the poverty reduction targets as we pledged, given the fact that we had 15 long years to make good on it. Out of our own choice, we have been spending a huge portion of our national budget to make good on our foreign debts presumably to preserve our national honor, but as it turned out, that honor is tainted now, because of this double failure of not being able to make good on our pledge on one hand, and not submitting honest data on the other hand.

 

In fairness to the new government, it is not directly their fault that this sad situation has come to be. Be that as it may however, we are faced with the reality that the rest of the free world does not care who is in power and who is not, all they care is that a pledge is a promise that has to be met by our nation as a whole. As far as us local citizens are concerned, we are double victims, as we are put to shame by a national crime, and as we are short changed by a government that is supposed to be working for us. # # #

 

Go for Complete Convergence! Tune in to Universal Access 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday in DZRJ 810 khz or log on to www.rjplanet.com/rj-radio/  Watch KA IKING LIVE! Saturdays 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 pm in Global News Network (GNN), Channel 21 in Destiny Cable. E-mail iseneres@yahoo.com or text +639293605140 for local cable listings. Visit www.senseneres.blogspot.com

 

 



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Last Updated on Saturday, 06 November 2010 11:41
 

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