Poverty, hunger a perennial Filipino problem PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 February 2016 11:12

Table Talk is now a senior citizen, almost at the twilight  of his life, but when my life was still starting to bloom, in my high school days I already got interested in politics and went out of my way to have an opportunity to listen to candidates running for public office, during campaign rallies. That was over 50 years ago today and the problem of hunger and poverty is still the same problem that candidates promised to solved ever since and until today. Candidates wins, gets reelected and  lost and ultimately die, hunger and poverty is still here haunting the Filipinos. And candidates today are still promising to solve them in their campaign speeches. This line of campaign rhetorics of hunger and poverty, every campaign period is like a broken record, played over and over again until the phonograph gets worn out.

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Without their knowing or short of new ideas, presidential and senatorial candidates and perhaps provincial, city and municipal candidates are admitting directly and publicly, that all of them are a failure for not being able to solve the basic problem of every nation—  hunger and poverty.

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Listening to their kick-off campaign sorties in television and national radio, not one candidate mentioned to solve the problem of hunger and poverty and promised solutions for them. This line of promise has been said over and over again for almost half a century, whenever they do their campaign speeches. One cannot help but asked: What happened to the billions of public funds released by the government for agriculture and food production? What happened too to the other billions of pesos of public funds spent for infrastructure projects to spur economic development? Are our national leaders running for public positions admit that those public funds did not reach their target objectives or squandered or lost in transit because of “red tape” in government processes? Are they too, more seriously admitting corruption is plaguing our governmental system?

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In highly literate and industrialized nations like the United States, presidential candidates campaign speeches talk of foreign policies and relations, improving social services and health care, increasing daily wages and take home pays, crime prevention and strong family ties, etc...,  but never looking for solution to solve poverty and hunger. They believe these two issues need no promise for solution because it is an inherent task and responsibility of government to assure that food is found everyday in every in every homes of families and they need not rely too much on government for survival, because all their citizens are given the tools to survive and be self reliant. Government funding to solve these two basic problems are spent to the last penny and not pocketed.

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Administration pPresidential candidate and his vice president during their kick off campaign rally, shouted to his lung out asking the Filipino people to join him fight hunger and poverty so with VP Jejomar Binay’s campaign advertisement, feeding the poor and promising that Filipinos will not anymore work too hard to be able to eat if he wins President. What happened to the billions of pesos of the 4Ps “pantawid” program to alleviate the lot of the poor Filipinos? What happened to the shelter program of government to assure that all Filipinos will have decent shelter and livelihood? These are loans from world financial institutions and right now the Philippines is indebted to trillions of pesos with at least 800 million pesos per year for loan installment payment to be paid by the national government. So many government programs for Filipino alleviation with billions of pesos spent, like the KKK, reforesting and replanting program, mangrove reforestation to name some and sadly all of them failed. If those replanted trees and mangrove grew, the Philippines countryside is now a jungle and our shorelines is now a huge marine spawning ground.

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The Filipinos have been hungry and poor ever since as pictured by our national leaders. They should be ashamed in revealing this to the public, even if it is the truth, because they have been promising to solve this for many, many years. Every time they campaign for votes from the people they promise the same thing and as if telling the public that they were a failure these many, many years that went by. When will we be self sufficient in food and alleviated from poverty when most of our national leaders already died with this promise? Perhaps a better line of campaign must be implemented, one that can make us smile and feel happy even with an empty stomach and in bare foot.

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Scoop: This is not exaggeration but fighting poverty and hunger in the Philippines is a perennial campaign promise. From the first time I was aware of politics in my younger days until today I am now in my senior years with grandchildren. Perhaps when my grandchildren will grow up to adulthood, they will still hear the same promise to fight hunger and poverty. The Philippines has already joined the space race by sending a satellite in space to monitor weather but it has never found a solution to hunger and poverty which is just in our surroundings and vicinity. Very,very surprising indeed. Agree or disagree, this is my personal view.