Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said his administration is working to provide livelihood packages to poor Filipinos to ease their dependence on doleouts and help lower the poverty incidence sustainably.
In his vlog late Saturday evening, Mr. Marcos said cash grants given to families in impoverished areas are supplemented with livelihood packages.
“Freedom from poverty is a continuous war that our government faces. So, the distribution of aid that temporarily leads our countrymen will not disappear – these are the immediate remedies that bring relief to thousands of Filipino families,” he said.
“[But] this distribution program of ours is different because it is not just giving monetary aid, we are providing livelihood and jobs,” the President added.
He said the Department of Agriculture has been providing harvesters and rice seeders to farmers while the Department of Labor and Employment pushes for its integrated livelihood and government internship programs.
“The same is true of DTI, which has a livelihood and relief program, and TESDA, on the other hand, which has a scholarship for the training for work program. We put all of this in one place so that it is easier for our countrymen,” he added.
Earlier, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said it will also require beneficiaries of the P 40-billion food stamp program, which will be pilot-tested in the coming months, to be actively looking for work or undergoing skills training through TESDA for future employment.
Setting this condition for the targeted 1 million beneficiaries of the food stamp program would help beneficiaries “graduate” from being poor, the DSWD said.
Mr. Marcos said Filipinos in general do not want to be mendicants.
“We have seen that in times of poverty, Filipinos do not want to be dependent on ‘ayuda.’ They do not want to be mendicants,” he said.
“Filipinos are industrious and hardworking. It is better for all Filipinos to be gainfully employed. They want to be working and not just pinning their hopes on ayuda,” the President added.
Under the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, the government aims to make the Philippines an upper-middle-income country by 2025 and to bring down the poverty rate to a single-digit level — 9 percent – by the time Mr. Marcos’ term ends in 2028.
— Vince Lopez
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