Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Addendum on "rolling stores" as a poverty alleviation tool

Just a brief follow-up on an earlier post I had about those "rolling stores". The Provincial Welfare Officer in Eastern Samar mentioned that such a method fails to reach the poorest of the poor. Why? Because rolling stores will travel only up to villages where roads are passable with their big trailers. But the poorest dwell in remote villages where road access is difficult or absent. Oo nga naman. (Policy and program evaluation is 99.9% common sense, and 0.01% technical analysis.)

But note that even for these areas there are local stores which sell food patronized by the poor. By whatever means they are able to bring their wares (by mule or horse if necessary). A food stamp system would, unlike the rolling store, be able to reach the hinterland villagers through these intrepid entrepreneurs. There is indeed a better way.

2 comments:

Amadeo said...

Indeed, no reason to add another layer of bureaucracy, like food trailers.

Issuance of food stamps, or scrips that may be convertible only to certain food items, would be a simpler process of distribution.

Strictly, band-aid solution, of course.

I still say invest extra funds on lasting infrastructure.

When dealing with finite resources, I am of the personal belief that the sorry needs of certain population segments will have to remain unattended, with the noble expectation that the coming generation can be exposed to better opportunities.

Econblogger said...

Amadeo,

That's a tough call to make. Not unsympathetic to the basic argument though.