MALACAÑANG on Friday said it is determined to further reduce the number of poor Filipinos by aggressively implementing programs aimed at ensuring jobs and food on every table as it welcomed reports of a slide in the number of people who rate themselves as poor.
“Government is determined to carry on with poverty reduction and social protection programs including those on skills training and employment so that the hunger incidence may be reduced even further,” said Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
The official was reacting to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that showed a drop in the number of Filipinos who see themselves as poor from 51 percent in June to 50 percent in the third quarter.
The SWS also reported that 35 percent of the 1,200 respondents, or about 7.8 million families, considered the type of food they eat as “poor.” The third quarter figure showed a two-point drop from June’s 37 percent.
The pollster said the one-point decline in self-rated poverty rate nationwide last quarter resulted from declines in Balance Luzon and Metro Manila that was tempered by an increase in the Visayas and a steady rate in Mindanao.
Meanwhile, Coloma noted that the incidence of severe hunger has gone down to 1.9 percent of all households.
“This means that we have to ensure that government programs address the needs of nearly half a million Filipinos who are in this serious predicament. This is the path toward inclusive growth that government continues to address resolutely,” he pointed out.
JOEL M. SY EGCO