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Poverty in the Philipines

Pro-poor initiatives should not be seen as campaigning, says Palace official

Poverty in the Philipines
Poverty in the Philipines

MALACANANG, Philippines – A Palace official said on Wednesday that allocating funds to the government’s priority projects should not be misconstrued as early campaigning, as the administration is merely implementing its “daang matuwid” agenda.
During a press briefing in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that what others consider as early campaigning is, for the Palace, no more than work for the continuity of “daang matuwid”.
Secretary Lacierda was commenting on reports that a number of politicians, who have already publicly declared their intention to run for next year’s presidential election, have accused some government officials of using public funds for early campaigning.
“We have a different view of what the government is doing. What he considers campaigning, we consider as working for the continuity of daang matuwid. Hindi pa tapos ang daang matuwid. Dapat ipagpatuloy ang mga ginagawa natin,” he said, referring to comments reportedly made by Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Citing examples, he said the government is focused on the beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program; on education, with the K to 12 basic education program and the construction of 66,000 classrooms; as well as on public health, with the wider PhilHealth coverage.
He also mentioned the major investments in infrastructure, which would benefit the people and generate employment.
“These are all part and parcel of daang matuwid — investing on people, investing in the country, investing in making sure that no one is left behind,” Lacierda explained.
“If he takes it as campaigning, he is entitled to his opinion. But we are doing right for the Filipino people, we are doing the daang matuwid,” he added.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.