May 24, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Congress vows more support for PBBM’s anti-poor programs

THE recent survey results on hunger, although conflicting, send a strong message to members of the House of Representatives to continue supporting the anti-poor programs of the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.

House Deputy Majority Leader Jude Acidre (Tingog Partylist) and House Assistant Majority Leader Mikaela Angela “Mika” Suansing (Nueva Ecija, 1st District) both made this statement during the daily press briefing at the House of Representatives Thursday, citing the conflicting survey results on hunger from OCTA Research and SWS.

Acidre said one can look at the hunger surveys using the principle of the half-filled glass and the half-empty one, as OCTA declared there was a decrease in self-rated hunger from 14% in December to 11% in March, while SWS said there was an increase in involuntary hunger from 12.6% to 14.2% covering the same period.

“Alam mo kung ako tinanong kung gutom ako, siguro iba din ang sagot ko, depende kung sino ang nagtanong at kailan ako tinanong. I think it’s like looking at the glass half-full or half empty,” Acidre said.

“I think one perspective, ‘yung sa OCTA, is that we’re on the right track, where all policies are all set toward ensuring that food is available for everyone, for all Filipinos. But the other survey is also telling us we are not there yet … merong (room) for improvement pa. That’s the way I look at it,” he added.

Acidre said Congress should take its cue from these survey results and continue supporting the programs of President Marcos Jr., several of which are through the initiative of Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, and crafting new ones to improve the delivery of government services to the people.

“At siguro kami sa Kongreso, we’ll take (our cue) from that, with all the programs – yung conditional cash transfers natin sa 4Ps, mga unconditional cash transfers natin sa CARD, sa FARM at iba pang programa – na isinusulong ng ating Speaker at ng ating Presidente, eh lahat ho ‘yun ay magkakatugma,” Acidre said.

“Ang kailangan lang ho nating gawin ay sigasig ng Kongreso, sigasig ng ating administrasyon na tuloy-tuloy po. Hindi po magpa-distract sa mga ingay sa politika at tuloy-tuloy lang po na magtrabaho. Sigurado po kaming makakamit po natin ‘yung mga targets na ating pong nilaan para po sa kalagayan ng pagkain sa ating bansa.”

Suansing also agreed that the programs Acidre mentioned like the 4Ps, CARD and FARM have greatly aided Filipino citizens in battling hunger, and she added other programs like the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair (BPSF), the ISIP for the Youth, and the SIBOL Program for small Filipino entrepreneurs.

“Kung susumahin po natin, bilyong-bilyong piso na po na ayuda ang ating naibibigay sa mga benepisyaryo ng BPSF. Bilyong-bilyong halaga ng AICS at TUPAD. Meron pa pong ilang mga programa na nakapaloob dito. Iyong isa po ay yung tinatawag na CARD, milyun-milyong kilo ng bigas na iyong naipamahagi,” said Suansing.

“Daang libo na din po yung mga benepisyaryo nitong ISIP, CARD, SIBOL at FARM. At bukod pa po roon ay magsisimula narin ‘yung tinatawag natin na AKAP Program, kasi ‘yung mga near-poor families ay mabibigyan po ng P5,000 na one-time grant,” she added.

She also mentioned Speaker Romualdez’s plan to have the Rice Tariffication Law amended to restore the mandate the National Food Authority (NFA) to flood the market with affordable rice, which will be within reach of the poor and influence market prices of rice.

“We would like to highlight doon po sa RTL. Halimbawa, itong amendments natin sa RTL is algo geared toward providing access to cheaper rice, more affordable rice, especially to the poorest families in our country. So that’s one policy that we are trying to make,” Suansing said.

“So malaking tulong po iyon kapag atin na pong naipasa itong batas na ito,” Suansing added.