Poverty should be the most serious election issue for 2013 – solon

child-poverty

PARTYLIST Rep. Teddy Casiño today said that in light of the recent Social Weather Station (SWS) survey showing more families consider themselves poor, poverty should be the foremost issue for the 2013 senatorial elections.

Based on the survey, some 10.9 million households or around one in every two families (54 percent), consider themselves “poor,” up from the estimated 9.5 million households (47 percent) in August 2012.

“This is glaring proof that the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of the government is a failure because it does not address the basic demand of majority of Filipinos and that low prices and stable jobs with decent wages,” said the Makabayan senatorial bet.

“Dinamihan man ng gobyerno ang dole-out sa mahihirap, at the end of the day our people still do not have jobs that will truly sustain their expensive basic daily needs. This should be a wake up call for the Aquino administration and aspiring senators to concentrate more on programs that would create jobs and lower prices,” the solon added.

A recent United Nations report rated the country “slow” in fighting poverty and “regressing” in boosting education despite the tens of billions allotted in the CCT program. Since assuming office, the Aquino government has drastically expanded the CCT program which is allocated P44.25 billion for 2013, Casiño said.

“This is a challenge to government and senatorial aspirants to devise comprehensive ways to reduce prices and create jobs in the localities because if not then poverty in the country would just increase,” he added.

To reduce prices of basic utilities like electricity, water and LPG, Casiño is proposing the removal or reduction of the value added tax on the said products.

“Instead of giving out monthly dole outs via CCT, government should use the money to subsidize farmers and build common service facilities for MSMEs,” Casiño said, pointing put that a measly P1.7 billion has been allotted this year for MSME development under the Dept. of Trade and Industry.

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