Rhetoric of poverty alleviation program

Basic to addressing poverty is for our public officials to have deep understanding of the plight of people suffering from it. The allocation of huge budget for social services will have little meaning unless the program and the people in it effectively implement it.
When the death of my cousin’s 11-month-old son who died of severe malnutrition in General Santos City was reported late last year, my cousin and her family was ridiculed and quizzed by some local health workers as to who reported the hunger-related death. It seems to me that these local health and social welfare workers are more concerned of being exposed of their ineptness and inefficiency instead of helping my cousin’s family under the Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act (RA 8425).
Despite the death of her younger son, her elder child was still denied of milk rations and food stuffs saying his old enough at that time. The health cards they provided to her after her son’s death to me is useless if they couldn’t even help nourish her other child.
Had the death of my cousin’s son not come out, these local officials would have not take action at all.
While I appreciate the health cards and coffin for the burial they gave to my cousin’s family, I am extremely disappointed of how they are handling the plight of cousin’s family who at the time suffering of hunger and starvation. The distribution of health card and coffin to my cousin’s family after her son died has little meaning to her.
My cousin’s plight is being experienced by ordinary Filipinos in their daily lives. Any one could just get outside their doorsteps and look around. They could see for themselves the reality in the Filipino society that is seldom talked about.
Perhaps fueled by deep frustration and lost of hopes, the silence of this very people suffering from extreme poverty, hunger and starvation is shocking for me. It’s because once victims complain of his/her sufferings being ridiculed and reprimanded is inevitable.
There’s a lot to be done of how to implement the program. Mere assurances to address poverty is not enough. To hold these public officials and agencies accountable of their failures may make changes.

Links to this case:
Infant dies of severe malnutrition and a hunger related disease in General Santos City

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Filed under Human Rights, Poverty

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