When God made crazy technocrats, something impossible such as a P10,000 monthly income for a family of five to classify them as not poor becomes possible.

This may sound funny or may even be considered as a joke by technocrats from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) but reading between the lines, it is not. In reality this is a cover-up.

Why would NEDA, peopled with economic experts, come up with a preposterous findings such as this?

NEDA knows this is not factual or can be supported by facts. The primary agency tasked with putting the country always on the right economic path in doing this is simply looking for an excuse to justify its failure.

There is no debate a large chunk of the nation’s population live below the poverty line. They are those whose monthly income NEDA could hardly track because literally they don’t even know where to earn their keeps on a day-to-day basis.

These are our countrymen who live in densely populated areas where one can walk on esteros, these waterways being covered with tons and tons of trash. These are our countrymen who are in the countryside existing on subsistence farming, where ironically can’t even be assured of three square meals a day.

If NEDA will categorize those whose income it is able to track to be at least in the vicinity of P10,000 monthly to be poor, where will they put those who are earning less, and to think they are a very large chunk of the population? Here the fine lines should be read.

NEDA’s primary responsibility is to craft plans, programs and policies aimed at alleviating the miserable economic condition of many Filipinos. The question is, has NEDA made a headway in this regard? With due respect, it has not and this is not debatable for it is an indisputable fact.

Reading between the lines in regard NEDA’s preposterous claim, it can be said then that it is doing so to cover-up for its own failure. Figures and statistics staring at us show that alleviation from the economic miseries are far way off from target. And who is responsible for this? NEDA, of course.

But the economic agency is not about to accept this. What better way to absolve itself from the current economic mess? Concoct the tall tale that with P10,000 monthly income a family of five can already provide for their daily needs thus not poor anymore.

The country can never extricate itself from the abyss of poverty unless the government through NEDA where the President sits as chairman rethinks current economic plans, programs and policies.

We take as gospel truth the idea that modern day development is anchored on manufacturing. What is inexplicably forgotten, however, is the truth that manufacturing’s success is always premised on raw materials produced by engaging in large-scale agriculture or the extraction of minerals produced in the bosom of the earth. In both, the country has remained irrational. We engage in subsistence farming to the detriment of even food security for the Filipinos.

Sadly, the exploitation of the nation’s natural resources, surface and underneath, are undertaken with the bulk of these benefiting not Filipinos but foreigners. Here lies where the eschewing of our economy happens. (jelbacon@yahoo.com; jelbaconii@gmail.com)