THE Philippines is finally making inroads in its efforts to curb poverty, the World Bank (WB) said in its East Asia and Pacific Economic Update October issue.
“After many years of slow poverty reduction, poverty incidence among the population declined by 3 percentage points between 2012 and 2013 to 24.9 percent, lifting 2.5 million Filipinos out of poverty,” the WB noted.
“This significant reduction in poverty in 2013 came after many years of weak poverty reduction,” it said, adding that average annual poverty reduction between 2006 and 2012 was only at 0.2 percent.
The agency expected that rapid poverty reduction will continue after the country was able to generate more than a million jobs in July this year.
It said the Philippines will have to invest in infrastructure and social services in its efforts to address poverty.
“In the medium term, growth can be sustained and made more inclusive by pursuing structural reforms and investing more in human and physical capital. Key structural reforms include protecting property rights, promoting more competition and simplifying regulations,” the bank added.
“These reforms can help the country become more competitive, and in the process create more and better jobs and accelerate poverty reduction. With further economic reforms, especially in areas that would have more impact on the lives of the poor, the government can help put the country on an irreversible path of inclusive growth and meet the jobs challenge,” it said.
The Aquino administration has rolled out plans and projects to achieve its goal of inclusive growth.