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Charity at home

By: Editorial February 20,2014 - 09:34 AM

Last week, the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) listed Cebu as among the 10 provinces that have experienced substantial economic growth in the past few years.
That same Neda report, however, also disclosed that the poor in these provinces have also grown because the rich and middle class “don’t buy or hire goods and services from them.”

Worse, it said, the poor in these provinces come in droves to the metropolitan cities in search of better employment and livelihood only to come up empty and further aggravates the squatting problem by living in riverbanks and landslide-prone sites, necessitating their relocation which always costs the local government a fair amount from their coffers.

The Neda report also comes on the heels of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that showed an increase in the country’s unemployment rate. This shows that despite the Aquino administration’s trumpeting of its accomplishments, employment stability and jobs creation have yet to be secured during its tenure.

That same Neda report also stated the obvious by saying that natural calamities not only slow down growth but sets back whatever economic gains the country and its provinces achieved prior to its occurrence.

Taking all that into consideration, it is quite clear that local officials, particularly in Cebu, need to rework their annual list of goals and expand it to include quality life not only for the rich and middle class but also for the poor, who either have no choice but head to the cities or have simply given up and sought greener pastures elsewhere.

The devastation caused by supertyphoon Yolanda had considerably slowed down Cebu’s growth, forcing it to seek help from the national government which has so far been twiddling its thumbs on their appeal for assistance.

Not that every local government unit (LGU) in northern Cebu had been wanting for help; look at Bogo City, which has been the recipient of both international and national assistance and has been the recipient of housing programs sponsored by the private sector.

But we digress. Natural calamities notwithstanding, those in Metro Cebu who have largely been spared of Yolanda’s wrath, now need to pool their resources together and help the Cebu provincial government by investing in the calamity-stricken areas of northern Cebu.

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TAGS: Bogo, Cebu, disaster, economy, local government

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