Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. said that the poverty problem in the country under the Aquino administration is the same as the problem during the term of his predecessor, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Marcos made the statement after the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) reported that 27.9 percent of the population, or 28 out of 100 Filipinos, lived below poverty line in the first half of 2012, although the Philippine economy grew 6.6 percent in the same year.
“The problem is the same during the GMA administration when the growth rate of the economy was strong, the beneficiaries of that growth were only large corporations and rich investors, not ordinary Filipino citizens,” he said.
The senator pointed out that the miserable state of poverty is caused by the inequitable distribution of wealth, which was also the situation during the Arroyo administration.
“The problem (during GMA) was inequitable distribution of wealth and that is the same problem that we have now. We see that there is strong growth but there is terrible distribution of wealth, hence the continuing poverty rate,” Marcos stressed.
While he didn’t question the 2012 growth figures, he reminded the government that the true measurement of progress is gauged by the improvement of the lives of the Filipinos.
“My point is that the NEDA findings that poverty (situation) has in fact not improved, has been something that I had suspected from going around the country and talking to people and looking at their condition,” Marcos said.
The senator pointed out that the poverty level as measured by NCSB, an attached agency of the National Economic Development Authority, should serve as a wake-up call for the government to implement an honest to goodness poverty alleviation programs like public investment in basic infrastructure, transportation, and other pump-priming infrastructures.