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Lagman: Andanar’s claims about Duterte’s accomplishments ‘pure fantasy’

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He must be dreaming.

Albay first-district Rep. Edcel Lagman branded as “pure fantasy” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar’s claim that President Rodrigo Duterte has accomplished his campaign promises.

In a statement, the Magnificent 7 lawmaker said Andanar’s remarks did not take into account the host of problems faced by the nation since Duterte came into power, such as rising poverty, persistent drug menace and well-entrenched corruption.

“It is pure fantasy for Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar to boast that President Rodrigo Duterte has accomplished his campaign promises, except for the pending shift to federalism,” Lagman said,

“It is utter miscommunication and disconnect for Andanar to assert that that the problems on poverty, the drug menace, corruption and peace and order have been solved,” he added.

Lagman said Andanar “failed to disclose any data” that the annual nationwide incidence of poverty of 21.6 percent in 2015 has been reduced to a tolerable level during the first year and a half of the Duterte administration.

“In Lanao del Sur alone, from 44 percent in 2006, 74.3 percent of residents lived below the poverty threshold in 2015 as reported by the Family Income Expenditure Survey (FIES),” he said.

The Marawi armed conflict, which devastated Marawi City and displaced hundreds of thousands of residents, exacerbated and continues to aggravate the poverty situation, he added.

Moreover, according to Lagman, the latest Social Weather Stations survey on self-rated poverty shows that the proportion of Filipino families who consider themselves poor rose in the third quarter of 2017 and also showed rising poverty in Metro Manila and areas of Luzon outside the capital.

“SWS found the ranks of self-rated poor families rising by 3.0 percent in the July to September 2017 period to 47 percent from the preceding quarter’s 44 percent, Lagman said.

Unemployment rate as of 2017 is 5.7 percent or equivalent to 2.4 million unemployed Filipinos, not considering a 16.1 percent underemployment rate, which translates to 6.5 million underemployed workers, he said.

As for the drug problem, Lagman said, “No less than President Duterte has requested several times that he should be given more time to address the drug menace, the last of which was on December 5, 2017 when he asked for about one more year.”

“This indicates that the problem persists even as extrajudicial killings related to the deadly drug campaign continue unabated,” he said.