FILIPINOS are being divided by too much
partisan politics which in turn is worsening the poverty situation.
Vice President and ex-officio National
Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Alternate Chairman Noli ‘Kabayan’ De
Castro yesterday said many poor Filipinos could have better lives today
if only politics has not been abused during the past years.
the observance of the 2005 National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty
at the Rizal Park yesterday, De Castro said the government has plenty
of programs to fight poverty but they were rendered useless because too
much attention paid by national leaders in uniting a divided citizenry.
“What can the government do in bringing
progress in our nation if it uses most of its time and resources in
healing wounds caused by too much politics in the country? Our country
can never move forward if there are always people who want to bring it
down,” De Castro said.
De Castro said the poor segment of the
Filipino society might have experienced improved social and economic
condition had public officials and leaders chosen to unite for a common
goal such as generating jobs and providing houses for the
underprivileged instead of staging anti-government rallies and
demonstrations in the streets.
The Vice President
admitted he has not met every single poor Filipino and cannot address
their individual needs and concerns. But as concurrent chairman of the Housing
and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), De Castro
said he is doing his best to address one of the basic needs of poor
Filipinos -- which is adequate and secure housing.
“It is also in the
present national housing program that unity is best exemplified, thus
making it one the most effective and impact-oriented program of the
government to uplift the lives of marginalized Filipinos,” he added.
this, De Castro challenged those present to visit the various
relocation sites for the railway families affected by the Northrail
project. Because of the focused attention given by HUDCC to the
national shelter thrust and the unprecedented support extended by local
government units and non-government organizations to the relocation
program, De Castro said the former informal settlers are now enjoying
their new life as house and lot owners in communities that offer decent
life. From so-called ‘squatters’, they have now become ‘villagers’ who
can live with dignity.
Ref. VPMEDIA 05-151