By Philippines News Agency
Iloilo City — Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. called for a total war on poverty and illiteracy in the province of Iloilo.
Defensor made the pronouncement during the consultation workshop for the Zero Extreme Poverty 2030 project of the Synergia, an organization that works to improve the quality of education, on Tuesday.
Defensor said poverty and illiteracy are intertwined and need to be addressed simultaneously.
Citing his real-life experience concerning his classmate in elementary many years ago, Defensor said “illiteracy leads to poverty and poverty begets illiteracy.”
“It is not surprising therefore that the towns in Iloilo that figured the highest in poverty incidence, namely Concepcion, Carles, Batad, San Dionisio and Lemery were also the same towns found to have the lowest survival rates in primary education,” Defensor said.
The governor stressed that collective action is needed for the war against poverty and illiteracy to succeed.
“It is imperative that we, government, school, church, civil societies and communities work together and help in areas where we have competencies so that we can win this war,” Defensor said.
The province has a scholarship program for poor but deserving students, the brainchild of Defensor.
By the end of 2016 the province will have 50 teen centers covering all of the major public high schools in 43 local government units, including the island-barangays of Carles and Concepcion.