GMA  DOING  EVERYTHING  TO  FIGHT  POVERTY - PALACE

MANILA
, December 18, 2005
(STAR) By Aurea Calica - Use negative feedback to fuel a positive and immediate response.

Malacañang said yesterday that the results of a recent Pulse Asia survey should serve as an eye-opener for those in government and become a unifying factor as the government works to uplift the people’s lives.

The survey results released Friday showed that hunger is still a prime concern among the lower classes and that 75 percent of Filipinos say their families are "very poor" or "poor."

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said that while the government was doing all it could to stay on track in implementing President Arroyo’s Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP), everyone must work together to help the people, especially the poor.

"We need unity," Bunye said. "We have to be united in addressing this problem of poverty." Bunye was apparently referring to the endless politicking that has been hampering the country’s economic growth.

Bunye said that, from the very beginning, the President drafted her plans to address poverty and reduce it by half by 2010.

"The strategy is to strengthen the economy, attract investments and create jobs to give people the opportunity to improve their lives," he said. "The road map of the President for development has always been clear."

Pulse Asia reported in its latest survey that while the level of self-rated poverty has essentially hovered around the 75-percent mark since 1999, other factors influence the respondents’ assessment of their financial state, specifically inflation, "particularly in food prices."

The survey also said inflation "continues to be perceived as an urgent national concern by the poor. A near majority of them reduced their expenditures on food in order to cope with inflation, even as a large majority spent the money they borrowed in the past 12 months primarily on food."

The survey indicated that 43 percent of the poorest Filipinos feel that "the adequacy of their daily food" is an "urgent personal concern" and they aim "at least to be able to have enough to eat every day."


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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