THE Marcos administration remains focused on its priority to reduce poverty incidence among Filipinos to nine percent by the time President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. steps down in 2028 through various strategies and whole-of-society approach, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said on Thursday.
The country’s Socioeconomic Planning Secretary issued a statement a day after the release of Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) self-rated poverty survey showing almost half of Filipino families consider themselves living in poverty.
“We note that the SWS September survey was conducted after a series of typhoons hit the country, which also affected food prices and directly impacted families who lacked the means to cope with the increase in prices,” Balisacan said in response to the SWS’ survey.
“As we noted earlier, poverty measures based on respondents’ perceptions are sensitive to inflation, particularly for essential commodities. Food inflation in September was higher than in June this year due to the supply disruptions,” he said.
According to the NEDA chief, the government is implementing for the short term, several measures to provide immediate assistance to those in need, including the rollout of the food stamp program, the removal of pass-through fees for vehicles transporting goods, and the distribution of cash aid through the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance program, specifically targeting the poorest individuals.
He added that the administration prioritizes policies and programs aimed at generating more and higher-quality jobs, as this is the most robust and effective approach to reducing poverty.
“This will involve expanding our markets, improving our infrastructure, and attracting more strategic investments, while also preparing the workforce with the necessary skills for the jobs that will be created,” Balisacan said.
At the same time, the Marcos administration has also implemented measures to accelerate these efforts, such as ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, establishing green lanes for strategic investments, and streamlining project approval procedures, among others. Moreover, we will pursue programs to modernize agriculture, improve productivity, and enhance the linkage to markets.
“Given these strategies and our whole-of-society approach, we are optimistic that we can still reduce poverty incidence among Filipinos to 9 percent by 2028,” Balisacan said.