BORONGAN City, E. Samar, May 8, 2015—While it is old news that the culture of corruption causes nationwide poverty, a bishop asserts its practice on the ground level worsens the plight of Filipino families, and heightens the effects of natural calamities in the country.
“Corruption on the ground level is still there. That is why the national government has to see to it that its services really reach the ordinary people on the ground,” said Borongan Bishop Crispin B. Varquez in a Radio Veritas report, expressing doubt whether projects and their implementation undergo monitoring.
The prelate also stated he agrees with the outcome of a poll released recently by the Social Weather Station (SWS).
“I agree with the result of the survey as I observed the people on the ground, especially here in my diocese. At least two super typhoons, ‘Yolanda’ and ‘Ruby,’ hit us,” he declared.
11.4 million poor
Covering the first quarter of 2015, the SWS survey holds that as many as 51 percent of Filipino families, equivalent to roughly 11.4 million individuals, consider themselves poor.
It shows that the Visayas has the most number of Filipinos, about 70 percent of them, who state they experience poverty. This is a 5 percent increase from last year’s poll result of 65 percent in the same region.
Varquez moreover challenged government officials to ensure the public they receive the services they deserve, and not look after their personal interests.
Meanwhile, the bishop added his diocese, in tandem with various non-government organizations (NGO), continues to hold livelihood programs in the communities affected by the calamities.
Part of the poll reads: “The First Quarter 2015 Social Weather Survey, conducted from March 20-23, 2015, found that 51 percent (estimated 11.4 million) of families consider themselves as Mahirap or Poor. This is just a point below the 52 percent (estimated 11.4 million) in December 2014, and 3 points below the 54 percent average for the four quarters of 2014.”
It adds, “The March 2015 survey also found that 36 percent (est. 7.9 million) of families consider the type of food they eat as Mahirap or Poor, termed by SWS as Food-Poor. “This is 5 points below the 41 percent (est. 9.1 million) Self-Rated Food-Poor in December 2014 and the 41 percent four-quarter average of 2014.”
For the complete SWS survey results, visit http://www.sws.org.ph/pr20150507.htm. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News with reports from Romeo Ojero II)