Press Release
November 8, 2007


Senator Mar Roxas said reports of an 11-year-old girl who had taken her life due to despair in her family's situation of poverty revealed the other side of the economy which needs addressing by the government.

"Contrary to what the administration has been telling us, things are not as rosy as they seem in the statistics. This tragedy highlights the urgent need to match rhetoric with action in our fight against poverty. It's also a fitting backdrop to the Senate's persistence in fiscalizing government and making sure that people's money go to social services rather than be spent for partisan political purposes," Roxas said.

Roxas said despite the buoyant outlook of the government on the economy, unfortunate incidents such as what happened to Mariannet Amper, 11, of Davao City, point to another picture.

"Mariannet's death shows the other side of the economy. This sad situation should be, more than enough, a wake-up call to all of us," he added.

"Reading about her reminds me of another young girl by the name of Anne Frank, whose diary opened the eyes of the world to the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. Mariannet's notes speak volumes about the grim realities of poverty as seen through the eyes of an innocent child," Roxas said.

Roxas pointed to a potential solution to the problem, that being the Expanded Value-Added Tax, a sacrifice in itself of Juan de la Cruz bringing P80 billion in annual revenues to the government.

The senator has proposed through Senate Bill No. 102 to channel all E-VAT proceeds, about P80 billion, into a "People's Fund" for specific health and education programs.

"Sa ngayon, nakakalungkot na pa-tingi-tingi lamang ang tugon ng pamahalaan sa kahirapan. Ang kailangan ngayon ay ibuhos ang lahat ng ating ginagawa para maibsan ang gutom, sakit, kakulangan sa edukasyon at oportunidad, at kawalan ng pag-asa," he said.

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