By Chino S. Leyco
As the number of poor Filipinos declined faster than expected in the last three years, the national government is considering a downward revision of its poverty rate target by the end of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s term.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a mobile phone message that Duterte’s economic managers will look at the possibility of further lowering their 14 percent poverty incidence rate goal by 2022.
“That’s certainly possible,” Dominguez told reporters when asked if the government may adjust the poverty rate target. “We will take it up in the next EDC [economic development cluster] meeting.”
On Friday, the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) announced that poverty incidence rate in the country dropped by 2.23 percentage points per annum to 16.6 percent last year from 23.3 percent in 2015.
The PSA data indicated that about 5.9 million have already been lifted out of poverty as of 2018, just a little short of the government’s six million target by 2022.
“This means the Duterte administration is making headway in its ultimate goal of reducing poverty incidence to 14 percent by the time the President leaves office in 2022,” Dominguez said.
“Reforms have been put in place by President Duterte to improve the lives of all Filipinos, such as the tax reform, ‘Build, Build, Build,’ rice tariffication, free State Universities and Colleges tuition, and institutionalization of the 4Ps for the poorest households,” he added.
These economic reforms, the finance chief explained have resulted in more money in the pockets of the Filipino people, while reducing inflation and creating more jobs.