The increase in poverty incidence and hunger should prompt President Aquino to abandon the Conditional Cash Transfer program and instead, support the immediate legislation of poverty relief measures pending in Congress.
This was according to Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan following the release of survey reports conducted by the Social Weather Stations which indicate that 52 percent or some 10.4 million Filipino households considered themselves "mahirap" or poor. This is a 3 percent increase from survey results conducted in June when the self- rated poverty was only at 49 percent or equivalent to 9.8 million households.
“This clearly indicates that the Aquino government’s anti-poverty flagship programs, including the Conditional Cash Transfer, are proving to be dismal failures in addressing poverty and hunger. The government is wasting billions in government funds for a dole-out program when it can in fact legislate measures that can concretely uplift the conditions of the majority of our population.”
Ilagan said that for example, legislating an increase in the minimum wage as well as removing the 12 percent Expanded Value Added Tax on basic commodities, especially on oil and petroleum products would concretely translate to poverty and hunger relief.
Ilagan, along with Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Emmi De Jesus have filed HR 880 which calls for a probe into the Price Monitoring And Regulatory System Instituted By The Department of Energy In The Light Of Allegations Of Overpricing By Oil Companies and the consequent repeal of the Oil Deregulation Law and House Bill 4704 which urges Congress to exempt oil and petroleum products, prime commodities and other basic necessities from the imposition of EVAT.
The Gabriela solons are also supporting HB 375 granting workers in the private sector a P125 Across the Board Wage Hike. Jang Monte, Public Information Officer, Office of Rep. Luzviminda C. Ilagan