Friday, August 26, 2005

NR0825:Govt should include children's parents in food program

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
New Release August 26, 2005

Government should include children’s parents in Nutrition program; Filipino children are hungry because their own parents are neglected by the national government

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that Camarines Sur. Rep. Andaya should also take consideration of the families of the school children the government intends to include in the projected extensive mass feeding program. He said that the government’s mass feeding program, like its other projects, is often a Band-aid cure for cancer-like problems.

He said that the national government was fully capable of implementing genuine and thorough-going reforms in the national economy that will significantly reduce poverty, but it refuses to do so because of it’s obeisance to anti-poor and anti-national dictates of big foreign business and international finance creditors.

“It’s frustrating the way the government keeps turning down the proposals and calls of people’s organizations and cause-oriented groups for the decisive ending of policies that undermine the economic welfare of the poor – children and adults alike. Mass hunger in the provinces is a direct result of landlessness and the government’s land conversion policy. Millions of farmers and their families are starving in the provinces because the government has taken away their lands and leased them to foreign multinational and transnational companies in mining and food manufacture,” he said.

“There are no genuine and sufficient subsidies for agriculture, and almost 80% of the Filipino people make their living directly or indirectly in agriculture and agrarian pursuits,” he said.

The veteran labor leader also said that he cannot help but express exasperation with the government’s deliberate ‘blindness’ to the social realities of poverty and its causes. “There’s mass unemployment and those who have jobs are paid in pittance wages. The low allocation for social services such as public housing and health ensure that millions of Filipinos are either homeless or squatters in their own land. Thousands die of easily curable diseases because of the prohibitive costs of medicine and preventive health care. There are not enough schools because the budgetary allocations for education are nowhere near as high as the appropriations for foreign debt servicing!”

Beltran said that it was very saddening on the one hand and infuriating on the other the way the national government under the corrupt and illegitimate presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pretends to be implementing measures for the good of the poor and their children, when in truth the government continues to steal the nation and the people’s wealth with the help of the greedy private sector and foreign investors and creditors.

“Unless Rep. Andaya and Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare and Development who will facilitate the school feeding program extend the same program to cover the three basic meals of the day of the school children and their families, this noodle-food program will be nothing but a Band-air cure, and yet another means for Macapagal-Arroyo to project herself as a caring and compassionate president. She and her administration will be pretending to be giving to the children while stealing from the parents,” he concluded.#


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