Palace vows to ease poverty

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The government will continue initiatives to ease poverty to lift more poor people out of poverty, Malacañang said on Saturday.

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The statement was issued following reports that high rice prices and Super Typhoon Yolanda pushed more Filipinos into poverty.

But Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the scope of the study was in the last six months of 2013 and from January to June 2014.

“Medyo iba ang mga kondisyon ng panahon na iyon at kahit sinabi naman ng NEDA (National Economic Development Authority) na may epekto rin ang pagdating ng bagyong Yolanda dahil doon sa mga datos na nakuha nila [The situaton during those times were different and NEDA also said typhoon Yolanda had a big effect],” Valte said.

“I think between the time that the study was made and now, medyo malaki na rin ang difference ng naging pagbaba naman ng mga presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin dahil na rin sa naging pagbaba sa presyo ng gasolina at ng krudo [there’s a big difference because the prices of basic goods have gone down because the cost of gasoline went down],” Valte said.

She said although the government expanded the coverage of the conditional cash transfer program (CCT), the Department of Social Welfare and Development also carried out efforts to clean up its list of beneficiaries.

The DSWD delisted beneficiaries who were not complying with conditions of the CCT program.

“So nagkaroon ito ng epekto doon sa numero ng mga benepisyaryo na tumanggap ng mga grant para sa CCT—at least for the period that the NEDA studied,” she said.

“Ngayon na tapos na ang cleaning up and delisting ng mga hindi na eligible na mga beneficiaries, mas marami na rin ang nako-cover ngayon ng CCT.”

The Palace official said government will continue to pursue efforts to alleviate poverty. These initiatives include encouraging investors to put their money in the Philippines and improving the competitiveness of local industries.

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan had admitted that surging food prices and the effects of Super Typhoon Yolanda “wiped out the gains in per capita income.”

A report of the Philippine Statistics Authority said high rice prices pushed the number of Filipinos living in poverty to 25.8 percent in the first half of last year despite strong economic growth.

The 1.2 percent rise was compared to the 24.6 percent of people in the Philippines who were considered poor a year earlier.

The government agency deemed a family of five who lived off P8,778 a month—roughly $1.33 per person a day—to be poor.

Nevertheless the Philippines, one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, saw the average income of Filipinos rise by 6.4 percent in the first six months of 2014, Balisacan said.

The areas ravaged by Yolanda saw the most substantial jumps in poverty levels, he said.

Notwithstanding the ravages of the typhoon, the Philippine economy expanded by 6.1 percent last year, second only to China among Asian economies according to the government.

PNA, AFP

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5 Comments

  1. This is very good goal but the government needs to demonstrate the improvement in the livelihood of common people and not the rich. Whilst the economic indicator shows growth in the GDP, it will be better for everyone to see the effect of this growth by way of communicating effectively and clearly to the masses. The government should keep focus in the economic development of the country, increase employment, increase infrastructures, improve in the education, efficient road networks, reduce use of inefficient forms of transportation, increase agriculture production by using modern farming technique, decrease importation specially from China, develop heavy industries, develop electronic industry, improve technical schools, encourage people to work in our country, reduce number of maids working abroad by providing better skills and knowledge, increase lighting and surveillance equipment to reduce or prevent crimes in the streets, imprison the corrupt officials, businessmen, improve the tax collection, speed up justice system, etc.

  2. I am an OFW & every year when I am on vacation I do shopping for our daily needs & I noticed that the price of commodities are getting higher & higher each year, even the house rental are also increased. While the peso & US $ conversion remain the same our purchasing power were diminished.

  3. The empty promises of the inept Aquino administration come a dime a dozen. They should not be taken seriously; they are meaningless play on words.

    If BS Aquino wants to ease poverty that affects half of the population of the Philippines, he has to make the benefits from what he claims as booming economy trickle down to the masses. He has to do the following during the next six months: 1) make healthcare free and universal, like in Cuba and Costa Rica. 2) make all state universities tuition-free like in Cuba, Costa Rica and Chile. 3) Exempt the poor from paying VAT. 5) Give Old Age pensions to poor old Filipinos.

    Without doing something concrete for the Filipinos, his presidency will be remembered as one of the most corrupt and the most INCOMPETENT ever!

  4. Roldan Guerrero on

    The best thing that this administration must do is to RESIGN without delay. The President, his cabinet and all his appointees to give way for this country to move on and recuperate from the damages they have done. This is a failed government and for the people`s sake BSA and Company must all step down now. BSA has totally self-destructed and no repair could be done. His only alternative is to step down. He must once and for all stop doing irrepairable damages to the Filipinos and this nation.

  5. P, Akialamiro on

    “A-anhin pa ang damo, kung patay na ang kabayo.” People heard this before, over and over again, we’re hearing it again. How; by dole outs? Band aid. Show them how to fish!