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Immediate and Short Term: Enhance Poverty Framework and Strategy

There is an urgent need to enhance governments strategy and to involve key sectors of
society for a collective and coordinated response to persistent poverty. This would entail the
1. Revisiting the poverty framework to include a strategy to address vulnerability. This
should be formulated in a national social protection strategy which in turn, would be a major
component of the fight against poverty. The framework and strategy should also tackle
chronic poverty (and pathways out of a poverty trap) and give serious attention to
population management.

2. Reforming institutions that coordinate poverty policy and implement poverty programs to
enhance coordination, improve efficiency and monitoring, and reduce corruption by

renewing the memorandum of agreement between the NAPC and NEDA to clarify the
coordination roles of each agency; the new poverty strategy and plan of action should
incorporate the specific roles of agencies and key stakeholders at various levels of

continuing to reform the educational system (through the Basic Education Sector
Reform Agenda), the health system through (FOURmula One), and the social welfare

accessing more NGOs and civil society sectors to monitor the delivery of poverty
programs and social services;

mapping key stakeholders and their roles in poverty alleviation at all levels of

examining the political economy of poverty programs before implementation;

and strengthening safeguard mechanisms (e.g., civil society watchdogs such as the
textbook watch of the DepEd) against leakages and corruption in large poverty programs.
3. Considering regional and local characteristics more specifically (e.g., prone to disaster or
conflict) in poverty program interventions. Interventions should also take into account
factors affecting intraregional inequality, which would imply equalizing access to quality
health, education, and infrastructure service within regions (Balisacan 2003).
4. Improving coordination and complementary action among government agencies and key
stakeholders such as NGOs and corporations in clearly targeted localities and communities
(from targeting to actual implementation of programs to monitoring and evaluation).

5. Allocating more funds from the budget and raising money from other sources (civil
society, religious, business, bilateral and multilateral agencies) for the fight against poverty,
vulnerability, and inequality. A fund-raising mechanism for a national poverty fund with clear
government counterpart and accountability can be setup for this purpose. The government
can also set a distinct budget line for poverty reduction, especially for LGUs.
6. Improving poverty targeting, monitoring, and evaluation, especially at the local
government level; there should also be increased funds for data collection, processing, and
management. Specific activities may include the following:

The national government should assist in increasing local governments capacity for
targeting and monitoring (e.g., a community-based monitoring system) through funding and
training schemes designed for poor localities already identified by nationwide household

Various efforts in integrating databases and establishing a sound targeting system at

the local levels (e.g., the DSWD National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction
and the community-based monitoring system of NEDA, NAPC, and DILG) should be

Funding for the National Statistical Coordination Board and the National Statistics
Office must be sufficiently increased to provide a more regularly updated database for
targeting (e.g., the small area estimates determining poverty incidence at the municipal
Medium and Long Term: Sustain Efforts for Economic and Institutional Reforms
Governance of poverty reduction must be strengthened through sustained economic and
institutional reforms.
1. Government should continue to pursue the following key economic reforms for sustained
and inclusive growth:

increasing available resources for social services, poverty reduction, and

infrastructure through fiscal reforms;

maintaining price stability to protect the poor from the negative impact of increasing
food prices;

improving the investment environment (through developing major infrastructure, and

decreasing red tape and corruption);

promoting higher growth and productivity of the agriculture sector; continuing to

strengthen tourism, as this is an important sector for rural employment;

closely examining proposed macroeconomic policies and large investment projects

terms of their impact on poverty (NEDA);

and scrutinizing proposed budgets in term of their pro-poor bias (NAPC can lead this
2. Local government resources and capacity for fighting poverty should be enhanced,
including improvements in national agencylocal government coordination. Such activities
may include

establishing an incentive system on allocation to better motivate LGUs in the fight

against poverty;

promoting inter-LGU cooperation in implementing antipoverty programs and projects

including reforms in health, education, and population management;

learning how select local governments successfully implement poverty reduction

programs (e.g., Galing Pook awardees Bohol, Concepcion, Iloilo, and Naga City);

continuing advocacy for more democratic and people-centered processes at the local

reviewing the 14 core poverty indicators, reviewing available local poverty indicators,
and simplifying local data collection systems; and

making provinces focal points for coordinating poverty-related programs and projects
for local implementation (Panadero 2009).
3. Conducting more multidisciplinary research on the process, factors, and dynamics of
moving in and out of poverty and household poverty traps to inform policies and
programs targeting chronic poverty (similar to Narayan and Petesh 2007) and helping
people escape them. This research may include

In-depth studies of how chronic poverty and persistent poverty negatively impact
economic growth, especially, the deterioration of human and social capital;

And reviving the NAPC database of poverty studies in the country and networking
with academics and experts to share findings of their various studies.