Dole­outs do not solve poverty – NAPC

Manila Times - - NEWS - CATHER­INE S. VALENTE

NA­TIONAL Anti- Poverty Com­mis­sion (NAPC) chair­per­son Liza Maza on Thurs­day backed calls for the grad­ual phase out of the con­di­tional cash trans­fer (CCT) pro­gram, say­ing it does not ad­dress poverty.

The CCT, also called the Pantawid Pam­ilyang Pilipino Pro­gram or 4Ps, was the cen­ter­piece anti-poverty pro­gram of the ad­min­is­tra­tion of for­mer Pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino 3rd. Un­der the pro­gram, poor fam­i­lies are given a monthly stipend on sev­eral con­di­tions – that par­ents will send their chil­dren to school and have them checked reg­u­larly in barangay health cen­ters.

But Maza said the CCT does not ease poverty.

“By its very con­cept, I be­lieve that CCT will not ad­dress poverty. I don’t think it will ever, ever ad­dress poverty,” Maza said in a

“In the past, poverty al­le­vi­a­tion is seen to be mar­ket- cen­tered. There are pro­grams such as the CCT that’s fo­cused on such plat­form. And if you ask us if the CCT is help­ing the poor, we can say that no, it does not,” she added.

At least 4.4 mil­lion house­holds at­tend fam­ily de­vel­op­ment ses­sions and must train to op­er­ate their pre­ferred liveli­hood projects.

But for the NAPC head, solv- ing poverty should be viewed in a more com­pre­hen­sive per­spec­tive.

“To end poverty, we must ad­dress its roots in un­der­de­vel­op­ment and in­equal­ity. That is why we have de­cided to fo­cus our ef­forts on pol­icy ad­vo­cacy since many of the things that we need to end poverty re­quire new pol­icy or fun­da­men­tal changes in ex­ist­ing pol­icy,” Maza said.

“To be able to up­lift the coun- try from poverty, we need an anti-poverty plan, an anti-poverty pro­gram,” she added.

The for­mer law­maker ex­pressed op­ti­mism that the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion will re­duce poverty.

“The NAPC is push­ing for mea­sures on gen­uine agrar­ian re­form and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment such as House Bill 555 and Na­tional In­dus­tri­al­iza­tion,” Maza said, re­fer­ring to the mea­sures be­ing ad­vo­cated by her al­lies in Congress.

“I think that if we in­sti­tute these re­forms we can at­tain poverty re­duc­tion from 9 to 15 per­cent. If you are go­ing to in­sti­tute gen­uine agrar­ian re­form, if we start to de­velop our na­tional in­dus­try which will spur the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment,” she added.

Na­tional Anti-Poverty Com­mis­sion head Liza Maza.

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