Helping the Poor

Not sure about the impact of local culture but the point here is that welfare programmes need to actually help liberate the poor from the multiple factors that hold them in poverty. Neither large scale spending on “one-size fits all” policies or “do-nothing” conservatism will work in an enduring way.


Poverty is a very complex problem. The solutions to it are not piecemeal and isolated. I wrote this comment more than a year ago. I think the suggestions are still relevant.

In his column entitled “Targeting Poverty Assistance Right” (Inquirer 3/29/11) Cielito Habito raised the question “Why is it that decades of determined work and billions of pesos spent by the government to reduce poverty appear to have made no dent on our overall poverty situation through the years?” He went on to list the poverty-fighting programs of each administration since Cory Aquino up to Gloria Arroyo. They are indeed an impressive array of programs. But they have failed to reduce in the incidence of poverty in the country. According to Habito, these programs have failed because they did not target the right sectors and he concludes that “with at least P21 billion allotted to assistance for the poor in…

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