ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
PHL poverty reduction still behind regional peers —World Bank
The Philippines has taken strides to address the country’s poverty rate but continues to be left behind by regional peers, a report by the World Bank on Wednesday showed.
According to the World Bank report “Making Growth Work for the Poor: A poverty Assessment for the Philippines,” the country continues to lag behind its peers in East Asia when it comes to poverty reduction.
“Growth was slower and less inclusive than in other high-performing countries in East Asia, and poverty reduction lagged,” the Washington-based lender said.
“Between 2006 and 2015, the Philippines poverty rate, as measured by the international poverty line, declined only 0.9 percentage points per year compared to 2 to 2.5 percent points in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam,” it said.
The World Bank attributed the decline in the poverty rate to several government social programs and remittances from both domestic and foreign sources.
The World Bank noted that in 2015, only 9.2 percent of the share of the population in the Philippines had a per capita income above the global middle-income line of $15 a day.
This compares with Malaysia's 65.7 percent, Thailand’s 35.4 percent, and China’s 19.4 percent.
Still, the World Bank said the Philippines has already taken steps to address poverty long-term plan for the country dubbed AmBisyon 2040.
“The Philippine government has formulated strategic plans focused on reducing poverty and improving the living conditions of its people to meet these challenges,” it said.
The government adopted in 2016 AmBisyon 2040, a 25-year vision of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to eliminate poverty and hunger.
“The assessment of the World Bank is a good confirmation of what we have been advocating for,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a separate statement.
“Similarly, the PDP 2017-2022 spells out strategies and priorities to lay down a solid foundation for more inclusive growth. The assessment provides us an opportunity to strengthen our collaboration in addressing poverty,” he said.
Moving forward, Pernia said the government is looking at creating employment opportunities and controlling inflation.
“These two are top concerns invariably cited by the general public in regular surveys of social research institutions,” he said.
“If we do something about these two, we will have done much of the work of bringing people out of poverty, at least in the short-run,” Pernia noted.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below