Friday, March 18, 2016

Statement: Presidential Spokesperson on official poverty statistics for the first semester of 2015

From the Website of GPH - Government of the Philippines

Statement: Presidential Spokesperson on official poverty statistics for the first semester of 2015

edwin lacierda 2

Statement of Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda On official poverty statistics for the first semester of 2015
[Released on March 18, 2016]

This morning, in its latest poverty incidence report, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced that poverty eased from 27.9% of individuals in the first semester of 2012 to 26.3% in the comparable period of 2015. This is a record low since 2009. The report also states that extreme poverty—as measured by the proportion of the population unable to meet their basic food requirements—dropped for the first time below double-digit rates to 9.2% of families.

This latest announcement comes on the heels of another positive report from the PSA. Released just last week, the most recent round of the Labor Force Survey indicates that our unemployment rate dropped further from 6.6% to 5.8% between January 2015 and 2016. This is the lowest rate recorded for all such surveys conducted in January over the past ten years. Led by the services and industry sectors, total employment grew by 2.0% year-on-year, reaching 39.2 million with an estimated 752,000 additional workers.

Seen within the context of a momentum that began in 2010, these developments stand as further testaments to the positive impact of good governance. Under Daang Matuwid, our people have gone from success to success, continuously reaping gains in various indicators of quality of life. Since 2009, overall poverty in the country has decreased by 2.3%. Hunger incidence has similarly gone down. According to the Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) Fourth Quarter 2015 Survey, the number of Filipino families experiencing hunger has fallen from 15.7% in September 2015 to 11.7%. In real numbers, this equates to an estimated 900,000 families no longer experiencing involuntary hunger. With this figure, the average hunger rate for 2015 stands at 13.4%—4.9 points below the 2014 average of 18.3%, and the lowest annual rate for the series in 11 years.

Foremost among the government’s social intervention initiatives is the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Under the Aquino administration, the program has been expanded significantly, from covering only 786,523 households in July 2010 to a target of 4.6 million households this year. Initial results of a study have yielded positive news: so far, millions of our chronic poor have been able to cross over the poverty threshold through Pantawid Pamilya. By providing access to better health and education, the program holds enormous promise in granting beneficiaries the wherewithal to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. The challenge now is to further empower our people so that the transient poor—those who have crossed over to non-poor status yet remain vulnerable to economic shocks due to disaster and disease—will not again fall beneath the poverty line.

The latest poverty figures, while encouraging, present a constant challenge for Daang Matuwid: to further ramp up and scale up efforts toward a future where no one is left behind. Now that we have made significant headway and are on the cusp of even greater progress, we all the more need a steadfast hand to guide us toward this next level of Daang Matuwid. We trust that our voters will choose the best and most capable leaders for this task, and allow even more generations of our countrymen to achieve the Filipino dream.

GPH Website





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