Press Release
March 23, 2010

Villar: Solving poverty no impossible dream

Solving poverty is no impossible dream. But it will take good governance and fresh leadership to lift the country out of it, Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manny Villar said yesterday.

"Our critics always say we cannot solve poverty, that it's just political rhetoric. I say they are wrong. I believe our problem had been that for the past decades, the nation had not been governed and managed well," Villar said in a radio interview yesterday.

He said the country's Asian neighbors like Japan and South Korea, which trailed the Philippines in terms of economic growth in the 1950s and 1960s, are now global leaders because they were governed well during those decades.

"If our neighbors were able to become what they are today, then there is no reason why we cannot. All it takes is good governance and good leadership," Villar said.

 "If we are governed well, then we can certainly catch up with our neighbors. When this happens, poor Filipinos will benefit and we can stamp out poverty. Other countries have done it and we can learn from them," he added.

More than 30 percent of the population are classified as poorest of the poor, and about 70 percent of this number is in the agriculture sector, according to government data.

The highest incidence of poverty are among fishermen and farmers.

"Our countrymen now see the need to carefully choose the candidates they will vote for in May based on who can take them out of poverty and provide a better life for them. They are beginning to understand why eradicating poverty is not an impossible dream," Villar said.

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