By Nat Mariano
THE government provides long-term solutions to solve problems like high inflation and to improve the lives of the poor, Malacañang said Sunday.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the Duterte administration was providing projects to significantly help the Filipinos.
“We are putting in place long-term solutions to significantly reduce inflation and help the poor Filipino families, such as pushing for rice tariffication and implementing our Build, Build, Build Program to lower the transport costs of food and goods,” Roque said.
He made his remarks following the results of a recent Social Weather Stations survey that showed 48 percent of families, or roughly 11.1-million Filipinos, considered themselves poor during the April to May period.
The result was six points higher than the results of the survey conducted in March 2018 where 42 percent or an estimated 9.8-million families considered themselves poor.
The six-point nationwide increase in Self-Rated Poverty in the second quarter was because of the sharp increases in Mindanao (60 percent), the Visayas (67 percent) and Metro Manila (43 percent). Self-rated poverty only decreased in Balance Luzon, or from 40 percent in March to 35 percent in June.
Roque said families experienced the effect of inflation when food prices rose because of weather-related delays in the distribution of cheap imports.
“Self-rated poverty dropped in Balance Luzon where Region III, the rice basket, and other rice-growing areas are located and where rice prices are lower,” he said.
He also said the period when the survey was conducted must be considered.
“[The] government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, had distributed Unconditional Cash Transfers to around 3.8 million of the 10-million total beneficiaries at the time of the survey, with distribution ramping up quickly subsequently,” Roque said.
According to the report, the monthly budget that households require for home expenditures in order for them not to consider themselves poor is P20,000 for Metro Manila, P15,000 in Balance Luzon, P11,000 in the Visayas and P15,000 in Mindanao.
The survey had sampling error margins of ±3 percent for national percentages and ±6 percent each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.