Gov’t launches accelerated anti-poverty initiative

The government is making rounds in various regions across the nation to launch the Accelerated and Sustainable Anti-Poverty Program (ASAPP) initiated by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board – Social Development Committee and the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster, chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The program aims to significantly reduce poverty incidence in a sustainable manner. It targets that by 2016, poverty incidence will be down by 18-20 percent. This will be done by creating employment opportunities, including self-employment for the poor. It will be implemented in cities and municipalities that have the potential to grow economically, but may be constrained by having a population with limited skills, limited expansion opportunities for businesses, and huge in-migration.

The government is working closely with the private sector and local government units (LGUs) to operationalize the program particularly on the provision of business and job opportunities to target households.

Recently, DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, Secretary to the Cabinet Rene Almendras, and Economic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director General Arsenio Balisacan launched the program in Cebu. Governor Hilario Davide III welcomed the three cabinet officials.

During the launch, Sec. Soliman presented the administration’s commitment to address poverty in the country.

In her presentation, she said that the Philippine government’s response to poverty is seen through the lens of human development. This response is embodied in the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster Framework, which boils down to two things: expanding people’s choices, and capacitating them to access these choices to ensure inclusive growth.

“All of these are realized through employment and livelihood; education; health; and, asset reform or the equitable distribution of resources, housing, and food security,” Sec. Soliman said.

She added, “These steps are meant to bring out the human in us so that we can create a society that cares for one another, where development is a process that protects and promotes equal opportunities, empowerment of the people, good governance, equity, and restorative justice in order to transform society.”

For his part, Sec. Balisacan presented the Rationale for the ASAPP while NEDA Assistant Director General Rosemarie Edillon discussed the ASAPP Framework.

Dubbed as ‘Salubungan’, the activity was attended by representatives of various national government agencies, civil society organizations, private sector and LGU officials of Sta. Fe, Tuburan, and Dalaguete which are the target areas for implementation in Cebu.

Other launchings

Aside from the launching in Cebu, ASAPP was also launched in Pangasinan, Camarines Sur, Negros Occidental, Leyte, Davao del Sur, and Sulu.

There will also be project launchings in Quezon, Iloilo, and Zamboanga Del Sur.

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