Duterte-Church united in poverty

If there’s one mission that the incoming Duterte administration and the Church can work closely as tandem, it is on poverty reduction.

For the last 5 Presidents which included the outgoing Aquino administration, Father Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, the church NGO working nationwide in poorest provinces says that hardly a dent has been impacted in terms of government effort to reduce poverty.

According to Father Pascual poverty continues to scourge the county especially the rural areas at 26-percent for the last three decades.

Based on the Social Weather Station (SWS) survey, about 11.4-million Filipino families in 20-poorest provinces in the Philippines remained poor, while some 7.9-million Filipinos rated themselves food-poor.

Both the Duterte administration and Caritas Manila prioritizes Mindanao as area for massive social development.

For one, Caritas Manila has 5,000 college youth and voctech scholars in majority of the poorest provinces such as Zamboanga, Basilan, Cotabato, Surigao, Jolo, Negros Occidental, Bukidnon and provinces hit by super typhoon Yolanda.

The YSLEP (Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program) of Caritas Manila also provides leadership formation and social involvement to the youth as part of its social development program.

Father Pascual also remains optimistic that the new administration of President Rody will respond proactively to the challenge of poverty reduction through education and job generation in the provinces.

“God willing, we reduce poverty to single digit in 6-years,” Father Pascual said.

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