EDITORIAL

The root cause

ILLEGAL drugs have been cited as one of the causes of crimes. But people mostly result to drug trafficking due to poverty.
Thus, aside from resorting to the iron fist, why not fight drug trafficking, criminality and violence by tackling their root cause – poverty?
Radical measures such as killing criminals and rebels, or extrajudicial executions, are not the effective solutions to the peace and order problem in the country. They simply magnify the problem and contributes to lawlessness.
As cliché as it may sound, the best way to fight crime is to fight poverty. The root of criminality is poverty. The root of rebellion is poverty. Until and unless you address the problem of poverty, there will always be illegal drugs and criminals, there will always be rebels.
The bigger challenge to the Duterte administration is not illegal drugs. It is achieving rapid and inclusive growth, poverty alleviation, transparency in government and global competitiveness. How should the government achieve this? Invest in the agriculture sector that hosts 60 percent of the nation’s poor, and in social services such as education, health, pension, and housing.
There can be a reasonable assurance that people won’t peddle illegal drugs or rob or scam other people, houses and business establishments if the government has a solid poverty-reduction policies and programs.

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