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China mulling poverty alleviation projects in Philippines

CHINA IS conducting feasibility studies since last yeat for poverty alleviation projects that its government will set up in the Philippines, but according to the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) this would be in the form of grant.

“It would be part of the assistance package the Chinese government will provide to the Philippines,” NAPC Lead Convenor Secretary Liza Maza said. “They (Chinese) want to see what possible areas they want to put up the poverty alleviation projects.” She said the projects are expected to be set up in rural areas with high incidence of poverty.

“They said they can offer their poverty alleviation expertise in the rural areas. They can share their knowledge to us,” Maza said.

The Chinese experts, she said, have so far visited several rural and urban poor communities in Bulacan and some parts of Metro Manila. She said the Philippines can learn a lot from China’s successful poverty alleviation program which lifted over 700 million Chinese people out over poverty for the last 30 years.

“We’ve learned that their case of development was really anchored in land reform and industrialization. That is the lesson we can learn from them,” Maza said. Acting Director General Tan Weiping, of the International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC), said they are happy to share its experiences in poverty reduction.

“We are still in the discussion of the project but we are happy to share our experiences in poverty reduction,” Tan said. Maza said the memorandum of agreement on the implementation of the poverty reduction projects is expected to be signed within the year.

She said the Philippines can also learn from experiences and best practices of its Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) neighbors’ poverty reduction programs. Aside from the Philippines, ASEAN members include: Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Cambodia. (Jelly Musico)

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