Improved peace and order reduces poverty - Ebdane
by ES Subong
Iloilo City (3 April) -- Defense Chief Hermogenes Ebdane said the improving security situation in the Philippines particularly in the countryside, has paved the way for the government to reduce poverty from a high 27.5 percent in 2001 to 23 percent by the end of 2006.
He also said that the country's defense programs are focused on attaining economic growth and national development, adding that the 6.1 percent growth rate and 11.3 percent increase in foreign investments last year were encouraging figures.
"The country will gain more if we maintain the conditions of security, stability and peace and order," Ebdane said.
He further said that without the insurgency problems, poverty could have been eradicated a long time ago, as he added that the government has been fighting the insurgents for more than 35 years.
History shows that the Philippines is the only country that has been fighting three rebel groups at the same time: The Communist New People's Army, the secessionist Moro Liberation Front and the extremist Abu Sayyaf.
The country's economic managers expect the economy to soar once the country is freed from the problems brought by rebellion and terrorism. (PIA 6) [top]