PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte’s government can lift more people out of poverty than originally targeted by the end of his six-year term in 2022, one of his economic managers said on Wednesday.
The poverty incidence could be cut to 11% in the next three years, better than the government’s original goal of 14%, he said at a briefing.
“If you let poverty incidence, which is 16.6% now, drop by 2.23 percentage points a year, then we will hit, I think, something like 11% or even less than that,” Ernesto M. Pernia said.
The poverty incidence dropped to 16.6% in 2018 from the revised 23.3% in 2015, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. That translates to 5.9 million Filipinos lifted out of poverty.
Poverty incidence among Filipino families also declined to 12.1% in 2018 from 2015’s 17.9%.
Mr. Pernia, who also heads the National Economic and Development Authority, said the agency will adjust its targets for 2022 to complement economic growth that has aided the lower poverty incidence.
“I think we will probably change our target for the midterm update of the Philippine Development Plan, from 14% by 2022,” he said “We’ll change it to 10% to 12% to be sure,” he said.
Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran this week said several laws have been passed that would further bring down the poverty level. These include tax reform, infrastructure spending, rice tariffication, free college education and cash assistance to poor households. — Gillian M. Cortez