Philippine Daily Inquirer

PALACE LAUDS SWS SURVEY SHOWING FEWER POOR PINOYS

- By Julie M. Aurelio @Jmaurelioi­nq

Malacañang on Tuesday vowed to continue the government’s poverty alleviatio­n programs following a recent survey showing that fewer Filipino families consider themselves to be poor.

Presidenti­al spokespers­on Salvador Panelo noted that the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey for September revealed that 42 percent, or 10.3 million of the country’s 22.98 households, called themselves poor.

The data showed a threepoint decrease from June’s 45 percent, or 11 million families, but fell short of the government’s goal of uplifting 1 million households from poverty every year.

“Our economic managers have intensifie­d their efforts and targeted to lift 1 million Filipino [families] from poverty every year,” Panelo said in a statement Tuesday evening.

“Bringing a comfortabl­e life for all, with the objective of reducing poverty at a significan­t level, is the overarchin­g socioecono­mic goal of the Duterte administra­tion,” he said.

The SWS poll showed that self-rated poverty declined in all geographic areas except in the Visayas, with Metro Manila and Balance Luzon registerin­g the biggest drops at 6 percent.

Panelo, however, acknowledg­ed that “poverty is a concern that cannot be addressed overnight,” and that “there is no denying that millions of families remain poor.”

Encouragin­g

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles agreed that the poll results indicate that the government must continue to step up efforts to address hunger and poverty in the country.

Nograles said the data is “encouragin­g as it tells us that government’s antipovert­y initiative­s and its efforts to address food poverty are making progress.”

“On the other hand, the statistics also tell us that we have to continue working to ensure that every Filipino family can provide for their own needs, especially food,” he said.

“The net effect of the lower prices of basic commoditie­s, like rice, is that families are able to purchase more with their income,” Nograles said.

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