Tuesday, 30 May 2000

NAPC reports after two years

How far have the anti-poverty
programs gone?

By Gina Mission 

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IN HIS 1999 State of the Nation Address, President Estrada declared: "The war on poverty is the overriding business of the government and is embedded in the government's economic and social programs."

......Almost a year later, civil society is interested to see how this administration will translate those words into action given the realities of land conversion, labor strikes, budget cuts, allegations of graft and corruption, among others, that have marked the Estrada presidency.

......NGO workers, joined by government representatives, recently gathered at the Bayview Hotel in Manila for a multi-sectoral consultation workshop where they were presented the administration's anti-poverty programs and projects. It was the first time that the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), after almost two years since its creation, made such a report. The workshop, held May 24 to 25, was organized with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Asian Development Bank.

......In her presentation, Donna Gasgonia, vice chair for the government sector of the NAPC, enjoined all stakeholders- government agencies, civil society groups, as well as the 100 poorest family-beneficiaries of the program in each of the country's provinces-to help the agency monitor the implementation of the government's anti-poverty programs. She also urged the audience to learn to demand that these anti-poverty services be delivered to the intended beneficiaries. 

......Her call reflected the UNDP's Poverty Report 2000, which stressed the importance of cooperation between the different sectors in order for the campaign against poverty to succeed. If poverty reduction programs are to succeed, the report said, local government units must be strengthened and held accountable both to the central government, for funds allocated to them, and to their constituents, for how they use these funds. 

......Some P257.9 billion, part of which came from foreign donors, has been set aside for the projects under NAPC's anti-poverty programs, both on-going and still to be implemented. The programs are classified into: environment and ancestral domain, basic infrastructure, workers' protection, livelihood or micro enterprise, agricultural development, social services, housing, and poverty monitoring. 

......According to the NAPC secretariat, the list of programs and projects presented during the workshop was "partial" and an offshoot of the agency's initiatives in crafting the National Anti-Poverty Action Agenda. The commission, however, assures that the list "indicates a strong government's emphasis on poverty eradication." 

Estrada Government's Anti-Poverty Programs as 
of  May 2000
Source: National Anti-Poverty Commission





Environment and ancestral domain

Nat’l Commission on Indigenous Peoples

P1.4 billion

Upland dwellers, indigenous peoples

Workers’ protection


No figures available

Students, persons with disabilities, rural workers, home-based workers, working youth aged 15 to 30, industrial sector, local and displaced overseas workers


Cooperative Development Authority
Land Bank of the Philippines
ERAP or Effective Response to Alleviate Poverty Trust Fund
People’s Credit and Finance Corporation

P30 billion

Cooperatives, local government units, NGOs, urban poor, youth, women, farmers, fisherfolk, IPs, MNLF its un-absorbed combatants or "non-integrees"

Agricultural development

Department of Agriculture

P10.6 billion

Farmers, fisherfolk, urban poor, children

Social services

National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons
Council for the Welfare of Children

P208 billion

Women, children, youth, persons with disabilities, elderly, victims of natural and man-made disasters, marginalized families and individuals, victims of illegal recruitment, teachers, remote barangays

Housing program

Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor
National Housing Authority

P6.9 billion

Urban poor


Department of Energy
Local Water Utilities Administration

P611.5 million

Rural communities, barangays without electricity

Poverty monitoring

National Economic and Development Authority

P170 million

All government agencies concerned with the delivery of basic services