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PIA Press Release

Panabo LGU to focus on poverty

By Jean Duron-Abangan

Panabo City (29 June) -- Re-elected Panabo City Mayor Jose L. Silvosa Sr. has proposed the Executive-Legislative Agenda (ELA) to anchor its agenda "strongly" on poverty eradication strategies.

Delivering his inaugural address after the Oath-taking ceremony of newly elected officials of Panabo City, Silvosa pointed out the need to come up with pro-poor agenda which would pave way for poverty reduction and make direct investments to benefit poor families.

He made the call for newly inducted officials to focus on poverty eradication as he noted that many Panaboans are still living below poverty line despite the city's seemingly "progressive physical" appearance that new commercial buildings along the national high seem to project.

Silvosa revealed that the Minimum Basic Needs survey conducted by the City Planning Office in 2007 showed that 20 percent of Panabo's households "were living below poverty line."

"The same number of households do not own or have no adequate housing.

He further bared that 5,000 of working age individuals in Panabo City "are not gainfully employed and more than half of them are heads of families."

Silvosa has found it ironic that 18 percent of school children in Panabo are malnourished "despite the fact that 85 percent of our land is devoted to agriculture."

Looking at the challenge to fight poverty at hand, Silvosa urged his fellow government officials to join hands and design action programs "that will improve productivity of farms to increase income and provide food for the table."

He also has seen the need to conduct capacity building trainings and carry out financial assistance programs to provide employment or income-generating activities among the poor.

Investing on healthcare and social welfare systems is also one of the mechanisms that Silvosa has identified to arrest poverty and grow healthy children of Panabo.

Realizing that local government officials can hardly surmount poverty problem without their constituents, Silvosa is looking at developing innovative ways of engaging "our citizenry to actively participate in our endeavors."

"For this, I am enjoining our barangay leaders to spearhead this task of eradicating poverty in their respective barangays," he said.

Asking everyone to join in the crusade, Silvosa intends to make the issue of poverty as "our foundation for growth."

"Our development therefore shall henceforth be measured by the number of families we have uplifted from conditions of poverty to economic self-reliance and self-sustenance," he said. (PIA XI/jmda) [top]

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