Rethinking Perspectives and Practices: SDRC Forum conducted on Poverty in Philippine Cities

SDRCThe Social Development Research Center held a research dissemination forum entitled "Rethinking Perspectives and Practices: Poverty in Philippine Cities" on February 18, 2010 at the Ariston Estrada Seminar Room. The main paper was presented by Dr. Exaltacion E. Lamberte, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and concurrent SDRC Director. Her paper primarily highlighted some of the findings of the SDRC study "Poverty in Philippine Cities Viewed from a Multi-Dimensional Lense," the paper focuses on aspects in which there is a dearth of information in local research.

The study covered many dimensions and subject areas of poverty, but for this particular dissemination, the discussion was limited to a) poor people's concept of poverty; b) perceived essentials for a decent life; c) dynamics of poverty as experienced by the poor themselves; d) children's poverty; and e) manner in which the poor view local and national elections.

A DLSU-Manila student leader, the University social action office director, and a representative of local government units composed the panel of reactors to Dr. Lamberte's presentation. Specifically, Lorenz Pielle De Castro, DLSU-Manila College Assembly President, cited the need for social welfare agencies to emphasize the importance of the value of the family over the usual basic priorities such as food. Lourdes Melegrito, Director of the DLSU Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA) stressed that the role of the government in the poor's exit from poverty must be more clearly defined. Milagros Reusora, Social Welfare Officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Training and Research Unit of the City of Manila, explained that national and local governments work together to provide income for the poor, and that the city government focuses on education in its programs to address the problem of poverty.

In response, Dr. Lamberte shared the reactors' concern that poverty is not only persistent, but is in fact increasing. She acknowledged the need for poverty reduction programs to be more systematic and to employ monitoring schemes that, among others, can enable funding agencies to require proponents to report not merely on research findings but more significantly on specific outcomes. She also called attention to the need for strengthening the psycho-cultural-sociological forces from which social relationships can grow, as a step toward the desired exit from poverty.

The forum was attended by faculty and students, and representatives from ChildFund Philippines, Concordia Children's Services, the National Nutrition Council of the Department of Health, ERDA Foundation, Inc., Families and Children for Empowerment and Development (FCED), Homeless People Federation Philippines, Inc., the Committee on Poverty Alleviation of the House of Representatives, and the National Anti-Poverty Commission.