PH fails poverty target

Poverty in the Philippines
Poverty in the Philippines

The country’s 16.6 poverty rate target seems unreachable by 2015.

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Arsenio Balisacan said that it is already given that they are likely to miss out its 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing poverty to 16.6 percent.

Based on the updated medium-term Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the government raised its target to a range of 20 to 23 percent.

The said figure is comparably lower than the 25.2 percent target drop of poverty rate in the country last year.

“Substantially, bringing down poverty takes a long time as experiences of other countries have shown. In the case of the Philippines, there is the added challenge of geoclimatic shocks,” Balisacan said.

Balisacan also revealed that the poorest families are being left behind, despite the country’s applauded economic accomplishments.

“The present administration learned a lesson from the first 3 years of the PDP’s implementation that economic growth is necessary but not sufficient for poverty reduction,” he said.

Balisacan added that the key is to directly address the constraints faced by the poor, set against a backdrop of rapid and sustained growth. These constraints operate in a highly diverse, fragmented and hazard prone environment.

He said that they will give direct focus on where the poor are – in terms of the space, the geography, and the sectors in which they belong – and tailor-cut the response to poverty on the basis of the circumstances of these areas, the regions, the provinces, the cities, and the poor. BusinessMirror/IMT