Tuesday, 19 May 2020 09:34

Neglect of Rural areas cause poverty in Cities

Why are people moving to cities only to find themselves in deeper poverty?

"Farmers are Essential". This was the title of the social media post that Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, made last May 14, 2020. His write up reflected on the importance of the agriculture sector.

In his reflection, Bishop Pabillo said that in provinces farmers and fisherfolks are often deprived of the necessities and services that are supposed to be provided by the local governments. This sad reality is caused by the national government to focus more on cities. 

"Most of our people live on agriculture and fishery. These sectors do not get the budget and the services that they need. So we have the phenomenon of farmers and fisherfolks among the poorest in the country, and consequently many of them flock to the urban centers which receive the bulk of services and government attention. Hence we have rapid urbanization which brings along with it congested urban poor communities, pollution, and even lawlessness," he said.

The bishop pointed out that because of the lack of services in rural areas, like healthcare, this puts pressure on poor people to migrate to near cities with the hope of finding better opportunities. 

"People come to the cities because they have no livelihood in the provinces. But this is not enough. The government and businesses should pour massive investment in rural areas so that they get adequate human services and jobs in the provinces. There are still areas without electricity," he said. 

"Many areas have no health clinics, and if they happen to have, they are just empty buildings because there are no healthcare workers – no doctors and nurses, and poorly trained and supervised barangay healthcare workers," the bishop added.

This unfortunate situation of rural areas is aggravated because they are cut off from more developed places due to the underdeveloped network of transportation.

"Many rural roads are impassable during rainy seasons and dusty on dry seasons. Because of the bad roads the transport system is unreliable and expensive."

The Apostolic Administrator appealed to lawmakers to create development plans inclined to the needs of rural areas since both the agricultural and fisheries sector need adequate funding for the improvement of their methods.

"In a word, the development plan – and the budget – should all be aligned to give importance to the rural areas in order to develop the agricultural and fishery sectors of our society," he said. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)


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