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400 reps of basic sectors convene in Cebu for Regional Sectoral Assembly

NAPC Vice Chairperson for Basic Sectors Ruperto B. Aleroza welcomes community leaders of the Basic Sectors in the Visayas during the Regional Sectoral Assembly held September 12-13, 2023 in Cebu City. (PIA-7)

CEBU CITY (PIA) -- Around 400 representatives of basic sectors in the Visayas gathered in Cebu City for the Regional Sectoral Assembly (RSA) conducted by the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) on September 12-13, 2023. 

The RSA is in preparation for the conduct of the National Sectoral Assembly (NSA) scheduled on December 1-3, 2023. 

The participating basic sectors as identified by Republic Act 8425 are, namely: Artisanal Fisherfolk, Children, Cooperatives, Farmers and Landless Rural Workers, Formal Labor and Migrant Workers, Indigenous Peoples, Non-Government Organizations (NGO), Persons With Disabilities (PWD), Senior Citizens, Urban Poor, Victims of Disasters and Calamities, Women, Workers in the Formal Sector, and Youth and Students.

Through the RSA, NAPC aims to institutionalize the regional platform of the basic sectors to practice democratic decision-making in governance, tackle the priority thrusts, accomplishments, and updates, and discuss their issues and concerns.

The RSA was highlighted by the determination of the next set of representatives or potential delegates of the NAPC Basic Sectors to the National Basic Sectoral Councils (BSC) and the Local Basic Sectors Coordinating Councils (LBSCC). 

Council Member of NAPC for NGO Sector from Western Visayas, Mary Jane Homena, said this year’s assembly aims to craft a common program that will be presented to the NSA in December this year. 

“Yung RSA last time, i-present kung anong mga changes. Update namin yun for the current situation, and hopefully that would be a basis of the Basic Sectors to come up with a common program that will be presented sa NSA in December 2023," said Homena.

Vice Chairperson for Basic Sectors (VCBS) Ruperto Aleroza, during the regional assembly, said they wish to engage with the basic sectors across the country on how to address poverty alleviation. 

“Nais naming ma reach out ang basic sector hanggang sa pinakaliblib na lugar, kasi kailangan nila na maging bahagi ng mga gawain patungkol sa pagpuksa ng kahirapan,” Aleroza said. 

“Naging direktiba ng ating pangulo na hanapin ang mga naiiwan at bigyan ng tulong batay sa kanilang pangangailangan,” he added.

The hard of hearing and non-verbal community under NAPC PWD Basic Sector follows the Regional Sectoral Assembly discussion through their sign language interpreter. (PIA-7)
Poverty reduction

To ensure people’s active participation in governance, the National BSC strengthened the sectoral representation in Regional Development Councils (RDCs) and forged partnerships with the national agencies, local government units, and civil society.

NAPC Lead Convenor Secretary Lope Santos III said they are eyeing a stronger collaboration with the National BSC and the LSBSCC through the support and close coordination of basic sector activities in line with the national government’s goal of reducing poverty incidence in the country.

“We recognize the significant role of our basic sectors in achieving President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s goal of reducing poverty from 18.1 percent to just 8.8 to 9 percent in 2028,” said Santos. 

During NAPC's first en banc meeting on June 30, Pres. Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said NAPC needs to continue to engage residents of depressed communities to determine what is really needed in those areas.

The President said there is a a need to identify the areas that cannot prosper due to lack of aid, roads, facilities, or infrastructure. 

“Hanapin natin kung saan talaga yung problematic na area and then engage natin lahat ng ibang departamento para the other departments (Let's identify the problematic areas and engage the other departments so they) can come in,” he added.

NAPC has identified the "urgent tasks" for poverty reduction, which include the following:

  • Aligning all development plans with the Philippine Developmen Plan 2023-2028, which constitutes the formulation and adoption of the National Anti-Poverty Action Agenda;
  • Roll out the Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan starting in 2024 to be mainstreamed in all provincial development and fiscal framework plans and comprehensive development plans of local government units; and
  • The crafting of the National Anti-Poverty Action Agenda (N3A).

Santos said the N3A is aligned with the PDP 2023-2028 and focused on the strategic direction and flagship programs to address multidimensional poverty concerns, social economic, ecological, and governance. 

Poverty incidence

The 2021 Philippines Poverty Incidence report shows that the country’s poverty incidence in 2021 was recorded at 18.1%.
Santos said this translates to almost 20 million Filipinos or 3.5 million Filipino families living below the poverty threshold of about P12,030 per month for a family of five, whose income cannot sufficiently meet the basic food and non-food needs.

The number of Filipinos whose income fell below the poverty line rose to 18.1% in 2021, higher than 16.7% in 2018, based on the preliminary results of the latest Family Income and Expenditure Survey.

“This translated to almost 20 million Filipinos living below the poverty threshold or those with insufficient incomes to buy their minimum basic food and non-food needs,” said Santos.

This was higher by 2.32 million from 17.67 million in 2018.

Subsistence incidence among individuals, or the proportion of Filipinos whose incomes were not sufficient to buy basic food needs to the total population, also went up to 5.9% from 5.2%.

This was equivalent to 6.55 million extremely poor Filipinos, up by 1.01 million from 5.54 million in 2018.

Under the Marcos administration, the Poverty Reduction Target is to bring down poverty incidence from 18.1 in 2021 to 8.8-9 % by 2028. (JAT/PIA-7) 

About the Author

Jositte Ann Tista


Region 7

Jositte Ann Tista is an Information Officer I at Philippine Information Agency (PIA) - 7. 

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