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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Gov’t sees rate of poverty down to 9% in 2028

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The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is confident it will be able to bring down the country’s poverty rate by half to nine percent by 2028.

According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, the nine-percent goal by 2028 will be accomplished by bringing growth to a higher level, enhancing the quality of growth through the creation of quality jobs, and improving the social protection system, among others.

The Marcos administration will present the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023 to 2028 next month, Balisacan noted after his meeting with the President to discuss the six-year roadmap.

“It will come out next month and we already briefed him on what the major elements… the key elements of those plans, and he provided comments, suggestions moving forward,” said Balisacan, who heads the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Meanwhile, Balisacan said bringing down the poverty rate from the current 18.1 percent – translating to nearly 20 million Filipinos or one-fifth of the population – is achievable amid global headwinds and the challenges of a faster inflation rate.

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“But associated with that would be the generation of not just more jobs but higher quality jobs. And those two, growth and jobs and paying attention to social protection to address shocks like typhoons and crises… to enable us to achieve a faster reduction of poverty from where it is today to a single digit, at nine percent actually,” Balisacan said in a meeting.

The PDP sets the government’s eight-point program and contains targets and actionable plans that will help the country pursue a greener economy and more sustainable, affordable, and livable residential areas in the next six years.

The Chief Executive earlier noted the GDP displaying a rebound growth rate of 5.7-percent in 2021 and a 7.8-percent average growth rate for the first half of 2022.

Balisacan expressed confidence there is a reason for optimism as the Philippines’ rapid growth recovery is firming up despite global headwinds.

The country’s poverty incidence was at 18.1% in 2021, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority in a statement last August. This translates to 19.99 million poor Filipinos.

The other targets set under the 2022-2028 Medium-Term Fiscal Framework include:

  • 6.5-7.5 % real GDP growth in 2022;
  • 6.5-8% real GDP growth annually between 2023 to 2028;
  • 3% national government deficit to Gross Domestic Product ratio by 2028;
  • less than 60% national government debt-to-GDP ratio by 2025; and
  • at least $4,256 gross national income per capita to attain upper middle­ income status.
    The President emphasized that the plan “should address the concerns of the development… of the local markets. Which is correct, ensuring that they receive the same assistance,” Balisacan pointed out.
    He said this is the first time the PDP is being presented before the start of the first full year of the President.
    “What happened before is that all the ships are already in the middle of the sea. They are casting their own nets. Now, it is there. So, there is now a greater opportunity for coordination of (government) agencies,” Balisacan pointed out.

In the plan, the NEDA chief expressed assurance that a framework for regular monitoring and evaluation of its implementation is also in place.

“So, every year, we will provide a report to the President and how the plan is being implemented and the performance and the various metrics or targets that have [been] indicated in the plan,” Balisacan added.

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