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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Philippines: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Slum Area in Tondo, Manila from BBC News Urban Planet Series

In the Philippines, around 20 million live in slum areas under the harshest condition of poverty. Ironically, there’s a big concentration of poor families in Metro-Manila (National Capital Region) particularly, along creek side and shore lines of Manila Bay. Some of them we can say are the poorest of the poor; lacking the basic human needs like nutrition, potable water, sanitation, clothing and education.

Living conditions in the ten poorest provinces in the Philippines could even be worse. They are (in order of poverty incidence), Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, Maguindanao, Apayao, Surigao del Norte, and Lanao del Sur in Mindanao; Northern Samar, Masbate in Visayas;  Abra in Northern Luzon and Misamis Occidental again in Mindanao.

Poverty is a global crisis. According to UNICEF (United Nations’ Children’s Emergency Fund), around 22,000 children around the world die because of poverty almost unnoticed. The UNFAO (United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization) help provide food to identified poverty-stricken places in the world.

Government must be able to provide basic resources to help people in poverty gain a good momentum to rise from their condition. Corruption eat away a lot of government resources thus, the government must have the political will to curtail corruption within its bureaucracies. It must implement a genuine agrarian reform program that will not only transfer ownership of agricultural land to the farmers but will also provide funds for the purchase of seedlings, fertilizers and modern farm implements to keep a high level of production. The government must ensure that its people acquire knowledge and skill that they need to make themselves self-reliant through a good educational system. Plus, a reliable health care program.

At the same time, people in poverty must strive to work for their liberty from poverty. They must build the road for themselves toward personal success. The government can only do so much the rest is all up to them.

However, they need help; a lift that would give them the leverage to escape; help that we can give even in the smallest that way we can.

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is celebrated every year on October 17 throughout the world.

Image and some data:
Emma Joseph, “Urban Planet Series”, BBC News Quick Guide: Manila Slum Life, Update Date: Unavailable, Accessed: 15 October 2010 <>

Wikipedia contributors. Poverty. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. October 15, 2010, 04:02 UTC. Available at: <> Accessed October 15, 2010.

Shah, Anup. “Poverty Facts and Stats.” Global Issues, Updated: 20 Sep. 2010. Accessed: 15 Oct. 2010. <>

Mavie Almeda-Ungco, Candice Montenegro and Analyn Perez, GMANews.TV, “Biyaheng Totoo”, Updated: March 16, 2010, 03:02 PM, Accessed: 15 October 2010 <\>

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