Government social payback schemes benefiting a lot of Filipinos — Ermita

January 6, 2010 11:36 pm 

MANILA, JAn. 6 — Of the many things Filipinos should be thankful for during the past year, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said social payback stands out among the many accomplishments of the Arroyo administration.

In his first media briefing for the New Year, Ermita said there are many reasons why 89 percent of Filipinos remain hopeful that good things will happen in 2010.

“Sa kabila ng mga pagbatikos nila sa Pangulo, marami siyang nagawa na marahil ay hindi alam ng sambayanan. Mahalagang malaman nila ito upang makilala nila at mapahalagahan ang kaniyang pagsusumikap (Despite criticisms, the President has done a lot to uplift the plight of the poor and the needy. It is important for the public to know these),” he said.

Ermita enumerated the social payback schemes which he said has been working well. These include the Accelerated Hunger Mitigation program (AHMP), Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), national Health Insurance Program under Philhealth, and the Botika ng Bayan/Botika ng Barangay program.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program, according to Ermita, has benefited 687,883 households with grants worth P4.396 billion as of August last year. The AHMP, on the other hand has focused on 54 food-poor provinces through increase in food production, enhanced food delivery, employment, good nutrition and population management.

Philhealth, Ermita said, now covers 86 percent of Filipinos including the self-employed and the indigent.

Potable water, according to him, is now available in 516 previously waterless municipalities outside of Metro Manila, more than the 432 target municipalities.

A total of 205 areas in Metro Manila have also been given access to potable water or 75 percent of the targeted 274.

“All these things fall under the pro-poor program of the President,” Ermita said. “I can tell you more than 90 percent of what this administration does is aimed at helping the poor.”

As of October last year, Ermita said local employment remained at above 92 percent whereas unemployment was at its lowest rate since 2001 as of the same month last year.

To address the effects on employment of the global financial crisis, the government has implemented programs to boost local employment. These include:

— Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Unemployment Program (CLEEP) which generated 203,712 jobs and employed 340,078 individuals as of November 13, 2009.

— Executive Order 782 which provided temporary employment to 30,397 displaced workers and their relatives as of Nov. 30 last year; and

— Executive Order 788 which recruited 15,158 young people, aged 18-24, to undertake a two-year national service commitment with modest stipend under the National Service Corps or the Youth Conservation Corps components of the Youth national Service. (PNA)

DCT/OPS/ssc

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