With poverty incidence in the country reaching almost 20 million in 2021 from more than 17 million in 2018, Senator Win Gatchalian urged the national government to promote inclusive growth and social protection to lift Filipinos out of poverty.
“One of the most efficient ways to address poverty is to advance inclusive growth and productivity leading to more sustainable poverty reduction,” said Gatchalian emphasizing that the government should provide more job opportunities to Filipinos left jobless by lockdowns and strict quarantine regulations at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gatchalian said micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) promote inclusive growth by providing employment opportunities for our kababayans and possibilities for budding entrepreneurs. The senator’s bill called One Town, One Product (OTOP) Philippines Act will help MSMEs recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The proposed measure seeks to institutionalize a promotional program for Philippine products that are mainly developed by small businesses using materials from their hometown. This will spur economic growth and at the same time increase the purchasing power of consumers, according to Gatchalian.
The Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) Law is also another tool to provide policymakers and program implementers to have a comprehensive picture of the different dimensions of poverty and identify and implement appropriate interventions, the senator added. The data gathered thru CBMS can be utilized by the national government and local government units (LGUs) in implementing focused and targeted social protection programs especially to the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
Gatchalian is also pushing for the Philippine Warehouse Receipts Act of 2019 which provides for the creation of an online and uniform registry system where all electronic warehouse receipts can be registered and accessed. This is expected to improve the country’s agricultural productivity and food security, while improving farmers’ margins in the long run.
“We need to draft legislation and institute reforms that are directly intended for the marginalized sectors. Mahalaga sila sa komunidad dahil malaki ang kanilang naiaambag sa ekonomiya ng buong bansa sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga kaalaman at kakayahan,“ he ended.