Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Dole Outs: The Answer to Poverty Alleviation?
"Dole outs? Hindi ba mas magandang that the government empower them? Providing the Metro's poor with livelihood skills, trainings for behavioral change, job opportunities, and providing them with good social services are way better than just giving them money. Just don't give them fish, but teach them how to fish. Kapag naubos ang dole out, maghihintay na naman sa bagong ililimos? At hindi ba madami din sa nakakatanggap ng 4Ps ang hindi qualified?" - Heizel Laru-an Mainar
In reaction to an article published by the Inquirer.net regarding the P3.32 billion in Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) funds in 2016 to be distributed to the so-called "poorest of the poor" communities of Metro Manila, "bringing to P6.74 billion the National Capital Region’s allocations under the government’s flagship poverty alleviation program during the 2015-2016 period."
The article continues to say "The amount, however, put the NCR’s two-year budget only in the 12th position among 17 regions nationwide, which received a total allocation of P125.05 billion," as reported by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the lead agency implementing the program.
Though, "In order to get these cash subsidies, children beneficiaries must be enrolled in school and maintain an attendance of at least 85 percent of class days every month. On the other hand, children aged 5 and below must get regular preventive health checkups and vaccines while those aged 6 to 14 must receive deworming pills twice a year. Pregnant women beneficiaries must avail of pre- and post-natal care while parents are required to attend family development sessions, which include topics on responsible parenting, health and nutrition."
I still believe giving out dole-outs is the wrong move.
As what a politician said "Genuine inclusive growth is jobs and opportunities for the populace, not dole outs. Job generation is answer to poverty alleviation." We need to empower communities rather than spoonfeeding them. Empowering people will give them a better chance of getting a job or setting up a business. Even though the DSWD program requires the beneficiaries to do something also beneficial to themselves in exchange, I still believe that there are better things to do than dole-outs. DSWD is using the dole-outs mainly as a motivating element to persuade the communities to regularly avail of the free government services, like education and health clinics.
However, dole-outs will never be the answer to this problem of society. The government knows it but it isn't a surprise why they keep doing the wrong thing. More funds intended for distribution to the poor means more funds to be squandered legally.
I remember what a speaker said during one event that I attended and it goes further than just teaching people how to fish. The speaker goes on to say "revolutionize the fishing industry" so that the eventual better benefits can be reaped by everyone.
This is what the government should be doing instead of just providing temporary solutions that also has a negative effect on the thinking of the people who are becoming independent of dole-outs.
I used to work for a government agency and admittedly the 4P system f*cked up big time. I was in a position which allowed me to personally saw the erroneous databases and the process that reeks of corruption. But my colleagues and I couldn't expose or admit it as we were strictly instructed by management and restricted by the shitty thing called confidentiality clause which I am now breaking. The reason why a lot of government employees are bad to the bone is because the ones on top has the commanding authority to make or break you. If you're not a team player, you'll end up alone and they will eventually kick you out even if you're top-notch. I'm a rebel telling the truth so I don't really care if they sue me for this.
I was fuming mad inside when I heard my bosses talking about how to spend the millions of pesos allocated to our department alone. The plans to purchase equipment and services that were not really needed were absurdly extravagant and a waste of taxpayers' money. We were instructed to purchase unnecessary items just because management wants to allocate the entire budget for the year. Since instructions came from them but we prepared the documents, the paper trail would naturally point to us.
I also couldn't stand the executives enjoying a lavish lifestyle of meetings at posh restaurants around Manila, and team-buildings/training programs, planning, etc., at Boracay, Palawan and other fancy out-of-town destinations. Imagine the travel expenses they incur. Management were already getting iPhones, iPads, etc., when these gadgets were still very expensive.
Daang Matuwid would never be straight in the first place if the people are still the same old trapos, and when most of the new breeds are just puppets in disguised as the new generation of politicians. Daang Matuwid was just another marketing scheme to fool us in believing they are not among the crooked. No government could ever be straight when there's so much ways to keep every process hidden. Why do they keep delaying the Freedom of Information Bill? Why do political dynasties still exist?
Sadly, this is where our taxes go. Most of the budget actually goes to the operational expenses of the agency. What the people individually get are just crumbs from the huge breads the government is feasting on. That government agency I used to work for sucks every penny out of the country's coffer, and they are getting away with it legally.