About the Standing with the Poor and Marginalized
Since its launch ten years ago, the Focus on the Global South’s Philippines Programme has come a long way. From being a country implementer of Focus’s regional programme, Focus Philippines has found its step and successfully established itself as a reliable, competent and credible country programme. What has been the animating essence of our work throughout these years? At the core, we have increasingly found this to be our drive to take our stand with the poor and the marginalized. When we choose our intellectual and strategic frameworks, when we chart out our approaches to systemic change, it is with the underlying basis that these are what will free the poor from the bondage of poverty, oppression and powerlessness. This website, the Standing with the Poor and the Marginalized Platform, gives concrete expression to this commitment. Here, we aim to provide a reliable source of alternative information, analysis and policy prescriptions regarding poverty and marginalization in the Philippines. Through monitoring, consolidating and building our available databases and analyses, we seek to develop clearer target beneficiaries, sources of information, and basis for analyses, campaigning decisions, and policy prescriptions, all intended to further realize the upliftment of the poor, the excluded and the disempowered. But where poverty is not only an issue of a material deprivation, but equally a matter of misrepresentation and of the active denial of voice by the powers-that-be, we also aim to develop a platform where the stories, the agencies and the struggles of the poor can be brought into better focus than in other locations. Even as we persist in our own advocacies, we recognize that the poor are not homogeneous and are not passive; that oftentimes they are already pushing for change within the spaces that are available to them, and that different, complex agendas and interests always come into play. We acknowledge that we are not amongst the poor— yet we nevertheless feel that in our standing with them, a distinct contribution can be made for their struggles. Whether you are visiting the Standing with the Poor and the Marginalized Platform website as a student, a researcher, a campaigner, a policymaker or even a plain member of the public, we hope that your visit here proves illuminating and fruitful, leading you, too, to better establish your own stand, in favour of the poor and the marginalized.