Finally, Erap launches an anti-poverty program
By Gina Mission

Apolinario Mabini and Andres Bonifacio: the old Katipuneros

Dolphy and Erap: the new Katipuneros?

alacaņang launched at a star-studded event at the Rizal Park yesterday, the new millennium KKK, or Katipunanan Kontra Kahirapan, President Joseph Estrada’s anti-poverty program.

___According to the president, the new KKK will liberate 10 million Filipinos from poverty over the next five years. Around 6,000 people, whom critics dismissed as mere hakot, attended the launching of KKK.

___The event marked the formal launching of the National Anti-Poverty Commission’s (NAPC) action plans to eradicate poverty. It was also a platform for the administration’s accomplishment report on poverty alleviation, which included:

___Also part of the accomplishment report were:

___In an interview, Presidential Assistant (PA) on Poverty Alleviation Donna Gasgonia, assured the Filipinos of better service with the KKK.

___"Unlike previous administrations where poverty eradication program was incorporated in the different departments, now we’re more focused," Gasgonia said. "NAPC is the designated agency to handle poverty alleviation programs. Hopefully, our progress can now be monitored more closely," she added.

___Gasgonia, pointed out that while previous administrations had poverty alleviation funds, these were not stretched to maximize the benefits for the poor. "And it is because there was no agency created exclusively for the program," she reasoned.

___With NAPC’s annual budget of P2 billion, Gasgonia is sure they can make a difference in the lives of the poor. Specifically, the money will be used to finance the programs of the 14 basic sectors under NAPC, as well as the more popular "poverty alleviation for the 100 poorest in each province." In a nutshell, this program serves as the "experimental" families for the NAPC to determine if indeed the government has alleviated the plight of the poor.

___But Tess Baltazar of Konsensyang Pilipino is not impressed. "They will only be getting 100 families from each provinces. This means there’ll only be 780 poor families who will benefit. But 75 per cent of the population live below the poverty-line threshold," she said.

___Gasgonia, however, assured that any Filipino can avail of these programs by coordinating with the local government units in their respective areas. "So if you feel you are poor, please don’t hesitate to ask our assistance. Just approach your barangay captains, or your mayors, or governors. The NAPC has a partnership with them in this thrust. We’ll do things together and hopefully make things better for all of us."

___In his Ulat sa Masa or Report to the Masses, President Estrada said that the poor can get loans for their capital requirements from the Land Bank of the Philippines, the People’s Credit and Finance Corporation, the Cooperative Development Authority, the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center, the Livelihood Corporation, and Quendancor.

___Exhibit booths set up at the Luneta offered the public a glimpse of how NAPC can provide support to the poor, as well as information on how to obtain their services.

___The President called on the people to end the battle for freedom started 107 years ago by Katipunan founder Andres Bonifacio by helping his administration liberate 10 million Filipinos from poverty.

CyberDyaryo | 1999.07.08