Press Release
November 20, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara called on the government to pour more funds and resources into programs that will alleviate poverty in light of the latest SWS survey showing that 10.4 million families--roughly 52 percent of the population--consider themselves poor.

"To be fair, government is doing what it can to improve the welfare of our people. But the results of the survey clearly show that much more needs to be done and that it has to be done as expeditiously as possible," said Angara.

According to the report, self-rated poverty has gone up 3 percentage points only three months after an earlier poll was conducted where 49 percent or 9.8 million households saw themselves as "mahirap".

The September survey also shows that nearly one out of five households or 4.3 million families experienced having nothing to eat in the last three months.

Angara said that government underspending could have played role in the rise of self-rated poverty during the polling period.

At the 37th Philippine Business Conference and Expo in Manila, DOTC Sec. Mar Roxas defended the administration saying that the perceived underspending of government was actually the result of good governance, while noting that some agencies do need to accelerate spending according to their project expenditures.

Roxas made the pronouncements after the DBM rolled out its Disbursement Acceleration Plan (DAP) worth Php 72-billion for the remaining months of the year.

Budget Sec. Florencio Abad recently reported that around 89 percent of the 2011 budget has been released as of October.

"We welcome these developments, but now government no longer has any reason to hold back on its abilities to stimulate the economic growth that will create jobs, improve welfare and ultimately eradicate poverty," explained Angara.

As Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, the veteran lawmaker recently sponsored the 2012 budgets of the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the State Universities and Colleges (SUC's), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Cultural Institutions and the Housing Agencies.

Angara authored the laws creating the CHED, National Commission on Culture and the Arts, National Museum and the Natatanging Manlilikha Award, which bestows honor on the Filipino folk and traditional artists. He also authored the National Book Publishing Industry Development Act and the National Cultural Heritage Law.

He stressed, "All these agencies are implementing projects that directly affect economic development. Government should make sure these agencies are provided with the resources they need to succeed."

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