The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), All Together in Dignity (ATD) Fourth World and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) commemorate the people especially the young ones who were victims of extreme poverty, hunger, violence and ignorance during the National Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty (NDOEP) on October 17, 2019 at the Rizal Park, Manila.
The objectives of this activity are to raise people’s awareness and instill in them the virtues and principles embraced by the observance which is the refusal of extreme poverty and the respect of human rights, dignity and freedom; to recognize and appreciate the initiative of poor communities and local government units in uplifting the lives of the poor; to urge more stakeholders to be advocates of the children’s rights and to actively participate in the fight against extreme poverty, which is at at 8.5% among Filipinos and at 6.2% among Filipino families in the first semester of 2018 according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
This year’s theme adopted the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which is “Acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty”. The program focused on advocating the welfare and the rights of the children because they are the most vulnerable sector compared to the adults who can defend, look after and provide for themselves. And if they are experiencing extreme poverty then their situation is magnified.
The participants during the NDOEP were the informal settler families and children from the Manila North Cemetery, who have availed services from DSWD, PSA, DILG, TESDA and Land Bank.
“This commemorative event is a great way for our impoverished Filipino brothers and sisters and the people from all walks of life to voice out their visions and concerns and be heard through their personal testimonies.” said NAPC Undersecretary Paterna Ruiz during the opening ceremony.
The crucial role of parents in the upbringing of the children was also emphasized during the opening ceremony.
“Parents play a big role in the development of kids. Eventually, there will be more children in the Philippines but if we do not take proper care of them, many problems will arise. However, we can overcome these challenges by educating them while they are still young.” Museo Pambata CEO Ms. Nina Lim-Yuson said.
Mrs. Jeanneth Odon of Virlanie Foundation also gave an inspiring testimonial. She urged the public that they can also win against poverty if they will also help themselves and be cooperative.
There were series of performances from ATD 4W, Sun For All Children in Philippines, Teatro Balagtas and Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) showcasing the pressing issues being experienced by the children and encouraging the public to support their fight for their rights and the fight against extreme poverty.
Also, the activities conducted aiming to bring joy to the participating children are games for children and yoga session, arts and crafts as well as a meet and greet with the happiest bee on earth, Jollibee.
Meanwhile, DSWD Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova laid down the legislative milestones in the country geared toward to safekeep the welfare of the children.
In response to the commemorative event, Manila City Administrator Felixberto D. Espiritu highlighted the new programs of the Manila City Government such as the revival of the nutribun program and the monthly student allowance program to address hunger and financial challenges of the students in the city. “We need to instill discipline to our children.” City Administrator Espiritu stressed.
Moreover, Vice Chairperson for the Basic Sectors Mr. Ruperto Aleroza said that, “Ang giyera laban sa kahirapan dun natin ubusin ang ating lakas at tapang. “(Let’s pour out our strength and courage in our fight against poverty.)
The program concluded with a ceremonial commitment signing for the “Pledge of Commitment” for the Relocating Community of Homeless Families of Manila North Cemetery project with NAPC, Manila LGU, SHFC, DILG, DSWD, NAPC, ATD 4W and other NGAs was conducted to signify their support in the efficient implementation of the project and other programs that are aiming to uplift the lives of the poor.