Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Gov’t financial institutions present to PGMA their respective rice and other pro-poor plans

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo presides over the Joint National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Cabinet Group and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Meeting Tuesday (April 8) at Malacanang's Aguinaldo State Dining Room. Also in photo are Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap (left), and Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita. (Rey Baniquet/OPS- Photo)

Government-owned-and-controlled corporations (GOCCs), government financial and social security institutions presented today to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo their rice and other pro-poor plans and programs in compliance to Administrative Order 225 signed by the Chief Executive last April 1.

AO 225 or “Harnessing Idle Resources to Uplift the Poor and Boost Rice Supply to Cushion the Country from Price Spikes,” directs the GOCCs and GFIs to allocate five percent of their 2007 surplus for projects in rice, low-cost consumer and medicine outlets and microfinance.

They included the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS), Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), Social Security System (SSS), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), National Power Corporation (NPC), National Housing Authority, Transmission Company (TRANSCO),among others.

These GOCCs and GFIs had a combined surplus of P100 billion last year and the President urged them upon her arrival from a three-day visit to Hong Kong, to allocate five percent of their surplus for rice production and other pro-poor projects.

For rice/food, the plans/programs include rice production loans, loans for construction and repair of irrigation systems, sale of appropriate SSS properties for agriculture under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, establishment of more Tindahan Natin in poor areas, rice distribution to electric cooperatives, among others.

For low-cost consumer goods/medicine outlets, more Botika sa Barangay would be established and the PhilHealth coverage would be widened by enrolling more poor families.

Loans for micro,small and medium entrepreneurs would be made more available through SSS, LBP and DBP.

Other pro-poor plans include the GSIS’s financial assistance to government employees and pensioners; PNOC to provide solar home systems per household to off-grid barangays; land donation for Gawad Kalinga program to benefit families in Rosario ,Cavite; loans for housing projects in the north Luzon, Central Luzon and squatters in the Southrail project.

A summary of the GOCCs and GFIs pro-poor programs and projects for this year does not only amount to P5 billion but P98,208,962,600.

For Rice and Food, some P22.3 billion was allocated; low-cost consumer and medicine outlets, P200 million; health insurance, P4.5 billion; microfinance and micro-enterprise, PP27.3 billion; other pro-poor programs, P43.9 billion.

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