MANILA (PNA) — Caloocan City Representative Edgar Erice on Monday revealed the strong links between poverty and patronage politics, citing that nine out of the 10 poorest provinces were either ruled or are still being ruled by political dynasties.
Erice, who is co-sponsoring House Bill 3587, “An Act Prohibiting the Establishment of Political Dynasties,” based his claim on the latest survey by the National Statistical Coordination Board in the first quarter of 2012.
According to the “2012 First Semester Official Provincial Poverty Statistics of the Philippines,” the top 10 poorest provinces are Lanao del Sur, Apayao, Eastern Samar, Maguindanao, Zamboanga del Norte, Davao Oriental, Ifugao, Saranggani, Negros Oriental and Masbate.
The survey showed that the said provinces have the highest percentage of families who failed to meet the minimum monthly income of P7,820 in the first quarter of 2012.
“One could hardly argue that this then is merely coincidental,” Erice said in his privilege speech.
The lawmaker said that “instead of focusing on how to better serve the public, oftentimes, these political dynasties are more preoccupied on crafting ways on how to make their government positions profitable businesses or milking cows.”
“And since there is no proper check and balance because the people who were supposed to do that are related to them, these political dynasties were able to get away with stealing the money of the people,” he added.
Erice has been advocating for the immediate passage of the anti-political dynasty bill, which seeks to ban banning relatives of incumbent officials of up to second degree of consanguinity to hold or run for both national and local posts in successive, simultaneous, or overlapping terms.
He also committed that he will not allow any member of his immediate family to run or hold any public office until he is long gone in the public service.
“Let us pass this anti-political dynasty bill and let our sons and daughters and the next generation see and remember how we have been instrumental in redirecting the path of our country. That would be our legacy, not a dynasty.” Erice said.