cdn mobile

What is Cebu proud of?

By: Fernando Fajardo August 28,2019 - 07:08 AM

When everything is said and done, development is all about giving everyone in our society the opportunity to work with enough income to meet not only the basic needs in life for food, clothing, shelter, education and health, but also for some of the finer things in life, including the right to live in peace without being subjected to the abuses of their neighbors and their own leaders.

Unfortunately, this seems to be not the first thing in the minds of our government leaders in the country today. What we have instead are leaders who are more preoccupied only with securing the best possible positions in government for them or their family to get richer and to remain in power for as long as possible.

In government today, we see the same members of the family or clan vying for high positions at the local and national level every election year. It is the same in business, big and small, where control is inclusive only among members of the founding family.

In such a situation, it is but natural, therefore, to see the interest of the masses being neglected that consigns them to continue living in poverty even when most of our neighbors are progressing well.

Since the end of the last war up to the year 2000, our poverty incidence remained high at over a third or more of our population. This changed in 2006 but only because of the change of the definition of poverty or of what constitutes the poverty threshold. Thus, basing on the old concept, poverty incidence was measured at 32.9 percent of our population in 2006, but only 26.6 percent when basing on the new concept. This improved a little to 26.3 percent in 2009, 25.2 percent in 2012, and finally to 21.6 percent in 2015.

Earlier this year, poverty in the first half of 2018 was reported at 21.0 percent of our population, down from 26.9 percent in the same period in 2015. We still have to wait though for the full year report on poverty in 2018 by October this year.

In Cebu, we just witnessed this year’s “Pasigarbo sa Sugbo.” This is a cultural dance and beauty contest, which features or highlights what every participating town and city of the province of Cebu is proud of. This looks interesting but not clear enough to show where our towns and cities really are now in terms of their progress or development.

The fact is that in 2015, the poverty incidence of Cebu province, together with the three highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue, was a little better only at 21.4 percent of the population than the country’s 21.6 percent.

Benguet Province had only 3.5 percent of its population considered living in poverty in the same year while Metro Manila or the National Capital Region had 3.9 percent. Other than Benguet, twenty-six more provinces, mostly in Luzon, had lower poverty incidences than Cebu in 2015.

The worst part is that Cebu had the greatest concentration of people in 2012, reaching 1.0 million people, or 4.2 percent of total poor population in the country.

According to the study of the Asian Development Bank, the major causes of poverty include low economic growth, a weak agricultural sector, rapid population growth, and high level of inequity in the distribution of our income and wealth.

One of the very visible signs of high incidence of poverty is the presence of many people living in squatter or slum areas in our cities or in makeshift houses in our towns and barangays

Besides poor housing and there is also hunger that comes with poverty. With little money to buy food, many of our people survive on very limited food.

With poor housing and less food also comes poor health.

Compounding all these is the inability of the children poor families to get good education that makes it harder for them to be employed or get higher wagers when employed.

With poverty, there is also high temptation to commit crimes, big and small, not the least going into drugs as a means of livelihood or escape from realities.

What then must our leaders in Cebu do to all these problems, particularly that of poverty? Are we encouraging more investments in Cebu to create more employment and income opportunities for our people? What have we done to attract new investors or retain and expand those who are already in business?

Are our leaders in Cebu even concerned with how competitive we are as an investment destination? Do we know what it means to be competiveness and what is required by local government units to be competitive?

As I see it, most of our leaders do not care or do not know these things about competitiveness. All that matters to most of them is to get the highest position they seek and to see to it that it remains in the hands of the family for a long time for their own good.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: CDN Digital opinion, columnist Fernando Fajardo, Post Prandium

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.